David-Alexandre Gros

Chief Strategy Officer, Sanofi

"As one moves from products to platforms, the Sanofi brand begins to emerge as the primary relationship for the value-added service being brought to market. We are providing people with access to our core medicines with our corporate brand associated with it."

How has the Sanofi brand evolved to better connect with your customers and partners?

In 2008, two-thirds of our revenue came from traditional pharmaceutical, patented products. Sanofi has since shifted from being focused on products to being focused on patients through platforms. Taking diabetes as an example, we have moved from being a company that creates and supplies insulin to a company with a full diabetes platform. We are no longer focused on insulin as a product; we are focused on the diabetic patient and helping that diabetic patient meet all of his or her needs in order to care for their diabetes. To accomplish this, we are looking and going beyond individual products to integrating solutions and care.

How is Sanofi’s new strategy being experienced by a typical customer?

Considering our global presence and differences in healthcare systems around the world, the patient’s experience is going to vary depending on where he or she lives.

If the patient is in the United States, for example, there will be a number of Sanofi-related products and tools that would be available to them to help them deal with their diabetes. Sanofi provides educational products to teach patients and their families about treating the disease, including some online services to help them learn about diabetes and to provide them with an online community. Sanofi not only provides the insulin, including advanced delivery devices in form of a pen, but we also provide other innovative products such as iBG Star, the first blood glucose meter that can function as part of an iPhone. As a result, our patients have access to exciting, next generation technologies that help them better control their diabetes while providing them increased flexibility in how they can interact with their care providers. Moreover, care providers are thus able to better manage patients’ care including through the data that patients may be able to easily send to the doctor.

In Brazil, we have a program called Alcance that provides certain patients with all of the medicine they need and related services to treat their diabetes for a set fee. We can provide them with high-quality products at an affordable price that creates a value added for a population that could otherwise have trouble paying for their medicines.

As one moves from products to platforms, the Sanofi brand begins to emerge as the primary relationship for the value-added service being brought to market. We are providing people with access to our core medicines with our corporate brand associated with it.

So you are now introducing the Sanofi brand into the equation for the first time. What does the Sanofi brand stand for? Is it evolving, and where will it be in the future?

The core of our brand is in being a diversified leader in global healthcare focused on patients’ needs. This is done through innovation, collaboration, and going beyond providing individual products.

Our brand has evolved along with our activities. On top of shifting our focus from products to platforms, when we launched our new strategy about three years ago, we focused on making sure we had the right products in development so we could execute on the complex chain of events needed to get medicines approved. By initially diminishing the number of products in development, we were able to focus on the ones that have the greatest chance of being approved. Our research efforts needed a more profound change since the industry’s productivity is low, as a whole. We transformed how we were doing research and moved into creating research hubs that were parts of broader medical hubs that we call biomedical ecosystems.

We have been openly communicating our vision and strategy, and behaving in a consistent manner to deliver on our word and strengthen the Sanofi brand.


  • About David-Alexandre Gros

    Chief Strategy Officer David-Alexandre Gros leads corporate strategy for Sanofi, which includes global partnering, mergers and acquisitions, venture investments, and alliance management activities. He was appointed to his present position in September 2011 and is a member of the Executive Committee and the Global Leadership Team.

    Prior to joining Sanofi, Dr. Gros joined McKinsey & Company as a strategy consultant specializing in Pharmaceuticals & Medical Products in 2002. In 2006, he joined Merrill Lynch as a Vice President in Healthcare Investment Banking focusing on strategy, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance until joining Centerview Partners in mid-2009 as a Principal and founding member of the Healthcare Investment Banking Division.

    Dr. Gros holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He was a Resident Physician at the University of Pennsylvania Health System.