On May 19, Martin Babler, CEO of Principia, received an unsolicited email from across the planet. It was Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson and he wanted to know if Babler had time to jump on the phone.
These were busy days, possibly stressful for Big Pharma’s first year chief. The week before, he had sparked minor intercontinental controversy by telling Bloomberg that the United States would get the first pre-order rights for its Covid-19 vaccine because BARDA invested in it at risk. Words are not very good in Sanofi’s home country of France, where the government and President Serge Weinberg see the company as some sort of national institution. President Emmanuel Macron had summoned Hudson to the presidential palace and, according to some local reports, they were meeting that day.
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