Scientific Advances in Vaccine Research may Lead to Improved Vaccine
Against Leading Cause of Death in Developing Countries
LYON, France, Feb. 14 /CNW/ - Sanofi pasteur, the vaccines division of
the sanofi-aventis Group, announced today that it has signed a collaborative
research and license agreement with the Statens Serum Institut of Denmark
(SSI) for the development and marketing of a new vaccine against tuberculosis
(TB), a disease that causes the death of two million people, worldwide, each
Under the terms of the agreement, SSI has granted sanofi pasteur a
license to its technology with regard to the use of certain fusion proteins in
the development of a tuberculosis vaccine. The license from SSI includes
access to the Intercell IC31(R) adjuvant. If the development is successful,
sanofi pasteur would manufacture the vaccine commercially.
SSI TB vaccine candidates are recombinant protein sub-units, including
one currently in a Phase I clinical trial. Results from a previous study
showed the SSI TB vaccine technology to provide a positive immune response.
Sanofi pasteur intends to build on the successes of the SSI vaccine program.
"This agreement is a milestone for sanofi pasteur," said Wayne Pisano,
President and Chief Executive Officer of sanofi pasteur, which is also working
to develop a vaccine against another one of the biggest global infectious
"The current medical arsenal is inadequate for fighting tuberculosis,"
Pisano continued. "Improved vaccines are desperately needed if we are to
succeed in controlling this disease. Sanofi pasteur and SSI are joining forces
to develop a vaccine that may have a major impact on global health by
preventing a disease that currently infects one person in the world every
According to SSI's CEO, Nils Strandberg Pedersen, M.D., this agreement is
a very important step in the fight against tuberculosis and for SSI. "SSI is
one of the world's leading producers of BCG and has for more than a century
worked within the field of prevention and control of TB. We are excited to
team up our research with one of the world's largest vaccine manufacturers.
The combination of both parties' leading vaccine expertise will really be able
to make a difference in the development of a novel TB vaccine for the benefit
of the world's poorest people."
The only TB vaccine (BCG--attenuated Bacille Calmette Guerin) used in the
world today was developed over 80 years ago. A TB vaccine is especially
important in areas of the world where TB is highly prevalent and the chances
of an infant or young child becoming exposed to an infectious case are high.
Although BCG is effective in protecting infants against childhood forms of the
disease, a more effective vaccine is needed for protection of adolescents and
adults against pulmonary tuberculosis.
Professor Paul-Henri Lambert of the Centre of Vaccinology, University of
Geneva, and Chairman of the TBVAC consortium steering committee, agrees that
to effectively control TB, a new or improved vaccine must be developed as an
alternative to or a complement of BCG. "The development of an improved TB
vaccine has been a challenging goal for decades, but significant scientific
advances have been made over the past 15 years that bring us closer than ever
before to achieving this goal," explains Dr. Lambert. "Results obtained with
recombinant protein TB vaccine candidates in pre-clinical studies are
promising, and I am very optimistic about this approach leading to a new TB
More than eight million people develop active TB annually, and
approximately two million die from the disease each year. The World Health
Organization estimates that there are more than 14 million people living with
TB. Those with active TB who receive no treatment can infect an average of 10
to 15 people annually.
Most TB cases occur in Southeast Asia and Africa. One-third of the number
of new TB cases occurs in Southeast Asia, but the estimated incidence per
capita is highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Both the highest number of estimated
deaths due to TB and the highest mortality per capita are in Africa, where HIV
has led to rapid increases in TB incidence. TB and HIV/AIDS form a lethal
combination, each speeding the other's progress.
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
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
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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
For further information:
For further information: sanofi pasteur, Pascal Barollier, Relations
Presse, Tel : +33-4-37-37-51-41, firstname.lastname@example.org; Media
Relations: Tel.: +33-4-37-37-50-38