Sanofi has unveiled plans to carve up its operations into five global business units in the hope of maximising growth opportunities and optimising innovation and new drug development.

The French drug giant said that, from January 1 next year, its business will house three new divisions - General Medicines & Emerging Markets, Specialty Care, Diabetes & Cardiovascular - as well as the existing Sanofi Pasteur and Merial ones. 

Under the new structure, Sanofi’s established products, generics, consumer healthcare and all pharmaceutical businesses in emerging markets will be grouped under the General Medicines & Emerging Markets Global Business banner, which is to be headed up by Peter Guenter.

Specialty Care, to be called Sanofi Genzyme, will be led by David Meeker, taking responsibility for medicines in rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, and oncology and immunology.

As its title suggests, the Diabetes & Cardiovascular unit will look after the firm’s diabetes care and cardiovascular medicines, under the direction of Pascale Witz.

Sanofi Pasteur and Merial are both Global Business Units and will continue to manage their current portfolios of vaccines and animal health products. Olivier Charmeil will continue to lead Sanofi Pasteur and Carsten Hellmann remains the head Merial.

“The new organisation simplifies and focuses Sanofi to optimise growth," said the French group’s new chief executive Olivier Brandicourt, who took over the reigns in April. “This is a necessary step for ensuring that Sanofi's new medicines and vaccines continue to build on our heritage of providing innovative healthcare therapies."

Sanofi said it is now poised to achieve “significant growth” and on track to launch up to six new medicines in 2015 and around one every six months between 2016 and 2018.