Sanofi is committed to collaborating with academic partners to quickly advance their novel discoveries into transformative medicines that benefit patients across the globe. The Sanofi Innovation Awards (iAwards) program, created in 2015 in the U.S., was specifically designed to do just that. Eighteen top academic medical centers in North America are currently participating in the program.
Each year, the North America iAwards program attracts approximately 300 pre-proposals, funding 20-30 projects annually. In the last three years, 73 projects were funded. Of those, 16 met their milestones and were either extended (4 projects) or converted into sponsored research (12 projects). Sponsored research projects involve a higher funding level and inclusion in our early-stage portfolio, thus underscoring the value emerging from this unique pharma-academic partnership model. In fact, funding and strategic decisions are jointly managed by a Joint Scientific Steering Committee (JSSC) composed of Sanofi therapeutic area leadership and high profile scientists from participating institutions. The overall program is managed by a dedicated team within Sanofi.
Since its launch in 2016—first as a pilot program with seven internationally-recognized academic institutions and medical centers in the United States—the iAwards program has continued to expand each year.
Sridaran Natesan, Head of Strategic Initiatives and Scientific Relations, Sanofi North America who oversees this program in North America, explains its importance: