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Covance and Sanofi-Aventis Sign Definitive Agreements for 10-Year Strategic R&D Alliance

PRINCETON, N.J., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Covance Inc. (NYSE: CVD) today announced the signing of definitive agreements with sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) for Covance to become sanofi-aventis' R&D partner. Over the next ten years, Covance expects to provide drug development services to sanofi-aventis, with estimated payments ranging from approximately $1.2 billion to $2.2 billion.  Sanofi-aventis will sell their Porcheville, France and Alnwick, United Kingdom sites and facilities to Covance for approximately $25 million and Covance will maintain employment on these sites for at least the next five years. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

"A key strategy for sanofi-aventis is to transform its R&D model and discover new medicines through the use of novel technologies and innovative partnerships," declared Marc Cluzel, M.D., PhD, Executive Vice-President, Research & Development, sanofi-aventis. "This alliance with Covance will help us preserve hundreds of valuable jobs in Porcheville and Alnwick, while driving our R&D efficiency for the benefit of the patients."

"We look forward to welcoming the world-class scientific talent in Porcheville and Alnwick to Covance, as well as adding state-of-the-art assets and new services to our portfolio," said Joe Herring, Covance Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Today's announcement represents another win-win solution to the R&D productivity challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry and provides Covance with a unique source of growth."

Under the agreements, sanofi-aventis will utilize Covance's global R&D portfolio of discovery support, toxicology, chemistry, clinical Phase I – IV, central laboratory, and market access services with annual commitments for these services increasing over the next decade. These agreements include a 10-year sole-source relationship for central laboratory services. Covance will acquire CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls) services with the addition of the Porcheville and Alnwick sites, including preformulation, drug formulation, preclinical and early-stage clinical API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) manufacturing, and radiolabeled chemistry.

Covance will host an investor teleconference and webcast today at 9:00 a.m. USA ET to discuss its strategic alliance with sanofi-aventis. The live investor call will be available via webcast at and by listen-only telephone: USA/Canada toll-free: 888-809-5987 or International: +1 719-325-2334 (participant code: 7106804). An archived call will be available by the end of the day via webcast at and via telephone at USA/Canada toll free: 888-203-1112 or International: +1 719-457-0820 (participant code: 7106804).

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

About Covance

Covance, with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive drug development services companies with annual revenues greater than $1.8 billion, global operations in more than 30 countries, and more than 10,000 employees worldwide.  Information on Covance's products and services, recent press releases, and SEC filings can be obtained through its website at

Forward Looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release, which are not historical facts, such as statements about prospective earnings, savings, revenue, operations, revenue and earnings growth and other financial results are forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All such forward-looking statements including the statements contained herein regarding anticipated trends in the Company's business are based largely on management's expectations and are subject to and qualified by risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, competitive factors, outsourcing trends in the pharmaceutical industry, levels of industry research and development spending, the Company's ability to continue to attract and retain qualified personnel, the fixed price nature of contracts or the loss of large contracts, risks associated with acquisitions and investments, the consummation of the transaction with sanofi-aventis, the Company's ability to increase order volume, the pace of translation of orders into revenue in late-stage development services, and other factors described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. The Company undertakes no duty to update any forward looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the Company's expectations.

SOURCE Covance Inc.
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