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Sanofi Pasteur Limited (formerly Connaught)

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Title: Sanofi Pasteur Limited (Connaught Campus)
Dates of Creation:


Administrative History:

The insulin collection consists of materials generated during the development and production of insulin at Connaught Laboratories, established in 1914 as a non-commercial and self-supporting component of the University of Toronto for the purpose of medical research, the production of essential biological products, and public health service. Connaught remained part of the University of Toronto until 1972, when it was sold to the Canadian Development Corporation and transformed into Connaught Laboratories Limited. In 1989, expansion into the global vaccine market accelerated when Institut Mérieux of France assumed control of Connaught, adding to its existing alliance with the Pasteur Institute to create Pasteur Mérieux Connaught (PMC). A decade later, Rhône Poulenc, the France-based parent company of PMC, merged with Hoechst of Germany to create a new company known as "Aventis." Hoechst was granted Germany’s first insulin licence by the German Insulin Committee in October 1923, and soon became the sole insulin producer in Germany. PMC was re-branded as “Aventis Pasteur” and its Canadian subsidiary designated as the "Connaught Campus." In 2004-05, the acquisition of Aventis by Sanofi Synthélabo of France, resulted in the creation of Sanofi-Aventis and the transformation of Aventis Pasteur into Sanofi Pasteur, a global division focused on human vaccines that inherited the original Canadian insulin legacy, as well as the German one. Sanofi is the name of the organization globally, with its Toronto site referred to as Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi Vaccines, or simply Sanofi Canada.

The existence of Connaught within the University of Toronto was critical to the development and large scale production, distribution and standardization of insulin soon after its discovery. Connaught also made important contributions to the further development of insulin products, most notably Protamine Zinc Insulin and Sulphated Insulin. Also, international insulin patent revenues, administered through the University, were critical to the future evolution of Connaught, and the financial support of medical research within the University of Toronto and in Canada generally.

Beginning in 1984, Canadian insulin was supplied through a joint partnership between Connaught and Novo Therapeutic Laboratories A.S. of Denmark. In the late 1980s, Novo joined with its Danish rival, Nordisk Insulin Laboratory, to create Novo-Nordisk, one of the world's largest insulin producers. In 1994, Novo-Nordisk Canada Inc. assumed full responsibility for insulin production in Canada, with its distribution arranged through Connaught.

Scope and Content: The Connaught insulin archival collection consists of original documents, still and moving images and artifacts dating from 1922 through 1994, although the catalogued collection is focused on the 1922 to 1972 period. The collection includes internal and external correspondence, Insulin production committee minutes, filling and packaging records, inventory reports, manuscripts and offprint articles, miscellaneous publications and newspaper clippings. There is a separate set of biographical files that include several individuals involved with insulin at Connaught, a collection of some 200-300 digitized still images (from prints and slides), several 16 mm films that have been transferred to video, and about 300 artifacts, which is primarily a collection of insulin vials and packages from Connaught and also from insulin manufacturers from all over the world, most of which were originally collected for the University of Toronto Insulin Committee.

Restrictions on access:

For information on accessing collection and any restrictions, contact Danièle Dufour, Head of Communications, Sanofi Canada. Email:

Finding aids: Finding aids can be provided on request through Sanofi Canada Communications.
Repository: Sanofi Pasteur Limited (Connaught Campus) (formerly Connaught Laboratories Ltd.) 
1755 Steeles Ave. W.
Toronto, Ontario 
Canada M2R 3T4

Digitized Items:

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