Sanofi Pasteur and Acambis Join Forces to Bring West Nile Vaccine to Market



    No Human Vaccine Against West Nile Virus Today;

    Disease Endemic in the United States

    LYON, France, Nov. 13 /CNW/ - Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of
sanofi-aventis Group, announced today that it has signed an exclusive global
collaboration agreement with Acambis plc, for the development and marketing of
a West Nile vaccine to help fight against this serious, life-altering and
potentially fatal disease. Scientists believe that a safe and effective
vaccine may prove to be the most cost-effective strategy to prevent severe
West Nile virus illness.(1)
    There is currently no human vaccine for prevention and no specific
treatment for West Nile disease, which emerged in the United States in the
90's and is now considered endemic in this country. As of November 6th, 3,265
cases of West Nile illness and 92 deaths have been recorded in 42 States by
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2007. The CDC has
identified those aged 50 and above, which represents more than 87 million
people, as being most at risk of severe West Nile virus-related disease.
    "A vaccine against West Nile disease may now be within reach. This
candidate vaccine is the most promising in the industry and would help meet a
growing public health need," said Wayne Pisano, President and Chief Executive
Officer of Sanofi Pasteur.
    Under the terms of the agreement, Acambis will continue to perform
development activities, up to and including the filing of a license
application in the U.S. Acambis will receive an upfront payment of $10 million
and would be eligible for pre and post-marketing milestone payments of up to
$70 million.
    "Since 1999 when it was detected into the US, the West Nile virus has
spread across the entire continental United States, causing 27,240 cases and
1,054 deaths," said Ian Garland, Chief Executive Officer of Acambis.
"Vaccination is the ideal approach to tackling this disease and, through this
unique collaboration we aim to bring this vaccine to market as rapidly as
possible."
    The West Nile vaccine candidate is currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial
in adults aged 41-64 years and 65 years and above. Preliminary data from a
previous Phase 2 trial in healthy adults have shown that over 98% of subjects
developed specific antibodies in the serum 28 days after a single vaccination.
The safety profile of the vaccine has been shown to be satisfactory.

    About West Nile virus infections:

    According to the CDC, West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious
illness. Experts believe WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North
America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall. About one in
150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms
can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation,
coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and
paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may
be permanent. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms
such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes
swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms
can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become
sick for several weeks. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5)
who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.(2)

    About sanofi-aventis

    Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers,
develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of
everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York
(NYSE:   SNY).

    Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, provided
more than a billion doses of vaccine in 2006, making it possible to immunize
more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine
industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting
against 20 infectious diseases. The Company's heritage, to create vaccines
that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the
largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests
more than EUR1 million in research and development. For more information,
please visit: http://www.sanofipasteur.com or http://www.sanofipasteur.us

    Forward Looking Statements

    This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking
statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements
include financial projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions,
statements regarding plans, objectives, intentions and expectations with
respect to future events, operations, products and services, and statements
regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally
identified by the words "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "intends,"
"estimates," "plans" and similar expressions. Although sanofi-aventis'
management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking
statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking
information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties,
many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of
sanofi-aventis, that could cause actual results and developments to differ
materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the
forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties
include those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and
the AMF made by sanofi-aventis, including those listed under "Risk Factors"
and "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" in
sanofi-aventis' annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31,
2006. Other than as required by applicable law, sanofi-aventis does not
undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information
or statements.

    
    (1) Cost-effectiveness of West Nile virus vaccination, Armineh
        Zohrabian,Edward B. Hayes, and Lyle R. Petersen, Emerging Infectious
        Diseases - http://www.cdc.gov/eid - Vol. 12, No. 3, March 2006

    (2) CDC Fact Sheet, West Nile Virus: What You Need To Know, Available at
        http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/wnv_factsheet.htm
    





For further information:

For further information: Sanofi Pasteur, Pascal Barollier, Media
Relations Tel: +33(0)4-37-37-51-41, pascal.barollier@sanofipasteur.com; Sanofi
Pasteur, Len Lavenda, Media Relations US, Tel: (570) 839-4446,
len.lavenda@sanofipasteur.com

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