Sanofi-aventis announced that the company will relocate its current manufacturing facility from downtown Hangzhou and build a new manufacturing site in Binjiang New Development Zone. This new site represents an investment of 270 million Renminbi (31 million Euro).

The new site is scheduled to be completed by 2012 and have an expanded capacity of 160 million packs. With an area of 44,775 square meters, the new site also allows the potential for further expansion and the creation of an export hub to other Asian countries.

Wang Guoping, secretary of Hangzhou CPC Committee, and Christopher A. Viehbacher, chief executive officer of sanofi-aventis, presided over the signing ceremony for the project.

Secretary Wang said: "Sanofi-aventis and Hangzhou have a partnership that dates back to 1995. The establishment of sanofi-aventis' new manufacturing base in Binjiang New Development Zone plays an important role in the further development of a strong pharmaceutical industry in Hangzhou."

"Much of our history and the success achieved to date in China is attributed to the great support that we have received from the Hangzhou municipal government and other partners in Hangzhou. We are excited to start a new chapter of our renewed commitment to Hangzhou," said Viehbacher.

Sanofi-aventis' current plant produces and repacks the company's major cardiovascular and anticancer products, including Plavix, Aprovel/Co-Aprovel, Taxotere, and Eloxatin. With the new manufacturing site to be completed in 2012, sanofi-aventis is poised to meet the growth demand of the Chinese market and improve the standard of care for important therapeutic areas such as hypertension, ACS, stroke and cancer.

The new manufacturing site in Binjiang New Development Zone will be built in strict compliance with the GMP and HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) standards required by China as well as the sanofi-aventis Group.

Hangzhou Binjiang New Development Zone was established in 1990, and approved by the State Council as National Hi-tech Industry Development Base. It covers a total area of 85.64 square kilometres, and is home to over 60 per cent of the hi-tech companies in Hangzhou City and 25 per cent of the hitech companies in Zhejiang Province.

Sanofi-aventis is the first foreign pharmaceutical company to open offices in China. Sanofi-aventis is one of the fastest growing healthcare companies in China, with leading products covering vaccines (Vaxigrip) and major therapeutic areas, such as cardiovascular/thrombosis (Plavix, Aprovel/Co-Aprovel); diabetes (Lantus), oncology (Taxotere, Elaxotin), internal medicine (Essentiale), and central nervous system (Stilnox). Sanofi-aventis currently employs more than 3,300 people in 188 cities across China.