Sanofi CHC OI Portal Blog: Sanofi + bitop: DUO Action Spray

8th December 2020

An agile healthcare partnership between Sanofi Consumer Healthcare and bitop AG based on the natural molecule Ectoin® enriches Sanofi's Cough & Cold product range

Sanofi has just launched the latest innovation of their Cough & Cold portfolio, the DUO Action Spray for the mouth and throat. The joint development with the Germany-based medical device specialist and Ectoin® supplier bitop AG is not only the very first Ectoin® containing product in the Sanofi portfolio, but also a success in terms of joint external partnerships to strive for a competitive edge through innovation.

"We are very proud to have Sanofi as a global partner for our Ectoin® products. The now developed medical device "DUO Action Throat Spray" with key ingredients Ectoin®, Althea and Honey was specifically developed to the needs of Sanofi and to support a global launch approach under several of Sanofi's brands in different countries. We are looking forward to a long-term and growing partnership with one of our highly valued customers" states bitop's CEO Wolfgang Hansen.

A quick and efficient route to market through agile teamwork between the partners

With the goal to launch a new and exclusive product while still achieving the fastest possible route to market, Sanofi engaged into a close collaboration with bitop. Since 1993, bitop's business concentrates on the development and distribution of over-the-counter (OTC) products based on Ectoin®.

Both companies nominated cross-functional team members who quickly developed a trustful and efficient way to work. Starting with face-to-face workshops including marketing, product developers and regulatory affairs managers from both sides, a weekly routine was established to drive the project step by step. Even in times of the COVID-19 lockdown the cross-company team never lost its spirit and commitment to deliver the fast innovation on the highest standards.

Cyril Thouseau, Head of Global Open Innovation Allergy, Cough&Cold at Sanofi is very pleased with the project: "Sanofi Consumer Healthcare's external innovation program succeeded with its high speed and agility. The result: Less than 24 months after the development partnership was agreed on the new DUO Action Spray has been launched in Sweden, Finland, France, and Poland in October 2020. And more countries will follow in the next years."

bitop provides a full-service model

bitop provided not only the scientific know-how on Ectoin®, but especially took the full-service responsibility of formulation and registration under the CE-Certificate. The medical device is already certified for the new Medical Devices Regulation coming into force in May 2021. After the launch, the partnership continues, since bitop serves now as partner for further clinical testing and provider of the shelf-ready OTC device for Sanofi.

Ectoin® - a natural substance with proven efficacy

The market for Cough&Cold remedies is highly competitive, but not many products can cater the clear consumer trend of the recent years: Patient prefer and demand natural ingredients, but don't want to compromise on proven efficacy when choosing their OTC-medication. The DUO Action Spray is a mouth and throat spray that combines the well-established ingredients honey and marshmallow root extracts with the natural protection molecule Ectoin®. Bitop's Ectoin® is patent protected, "Made in Germany" and provides a 100% natural mode of action to treat the symptoms of a common cold. Its properties have been scientifically proven by a large array of studies and yet the combination of the three powerful ingredients is unique and exclusive. The DUO Action Spray calms the cough, soothes the irritated throat, and acts exactly on the spot to prevent symptoms from worsening.

This partnership is a great concrete example demonstrating the ability of Sanofi to collaborate with a mid-size company like bitop AG. Agility, respect and collaboration are the in the heart of Sanofi's employees allowing to create new products in order to satisfy our consumers.

If you wish to partner with Sanofi Consumer Healthcare, please see our needs and propose your solution directly in the website

For more information about bitop please contact: or visit