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CSL CEO Paul McKenzie Attends the Choose France Summit Hosted by French President

At the event for industry leaders, President Emmanuel Macron positioned France as a global innovator ready to partner with companies.

French President Emmanuel Macron at the 2024 Choose France Summit
French President Emmanuel Macron addresses the audience of global CEOs at Monday’s Choose France Summit outside of Paris at Château de Versailles.

CSL CEO and Managing Director Paul McKenzie visited Versailles this week to attend an event hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, who wants global corporations to do more business in France. The event was an opportunity for CSL to meet and build bridges with stakeholders and key officials, including the Ministry of Health, and to raise CSL’s profile as a responsible leader focused on innovation and growth.

“Choose France” touts the country’s continued top ranking in an annual EY survey that measures how attractive various nations are to foreign investment. France, with a population of 68 million and a $2.8 trillion gross domestic product, is among Europe’s top economies and soon will host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

This year’s Choose France Summit included a life sciences session to discuss the government’s priorities and offer a chance for networking among potential partners. McKenzie attended the summit with CSL’s Emmanuelle Lecomte-Brisset, who is Senior Vice President and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs. 

CSL Senior Vice President and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs Emmanuelle Lecomte-Brisset and CSL CEO Paul McKenzie outside of Versailles Palace
CSL Senior Vice President and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs Emmanuelle Lecomte-Brisset and CSL CEO Paul McKenzie outside of Versailles Palace during the Choose France Summit on May 13.

CSL attended the summit to discuss critical programs with French officials and because it believes in the transformative potential of collaborative models for driving health care innovation, company officials said. In December, the French Ministry of Health and Prevention accepted a gene therapy from CSL Behring as the first product to receive authorization through an innovative process called Direct Access. 

A longtime investor in R&D and public health in France, CSL this year contributed 53 million euros ($57.1 million USD) to support partnerships with French companies, academics, venture funders and other organizations. Examples include an endowment fund for research, “Fond de Dotation CSL Behring pour la recherche,” launched eight years ago by CSL Behring, which makes medicines for rare and serious diseases. The fund has awarded more than 30 grants and invested more than 1 million euros to support French research projects. 

Another CSL business unit, CSL Vifor, has since 2018 invested in multistakeholder initiatives in France to support Patient Blood Management (PBM). The World Health Organization (WHO) urges health care entities to implement Patient Blood Management (PBM), an approach to improve surgical and medical patient outcomes by optimally managing and preserving a patient’s own blood. PBM can provide improved outcomes for patients and health care systems, including cost savings, research shows. CSL Vifor specializes in treatments for iron deficiency and kidney disease.

CSL CEO Paul McKenzie talks with staff in Paris.
In Paris this week, CSL CEO Paul McKenzie discussed collaboration between CSL business units CSL Vifor and CSL Seqirus.

Following the Choose France Summit, McKenzie met with staff in Paris, where CSL Behring and CSL Vifor have fully structured affiliates that ensure the provision of rare, complex and innovative medicines to patients with rare and serious diseases. Elsewhere in Europe, CSL Behring and CSL Vifor have R&D and manufacturing facilities in Switzerland and Germany. CSL Vifor’s affiliate in France is actively collaborating with another CSL business unit – CSL Seqirus, which develops and manufactures vaccines.

Group photo with CSL CEO Paul McKenzie and staff in Paris
CSL CEO Paul McKenzie meets with staff at one of CSL’s affiliates in Paris on Tuesday, May 14.