Sanofi Pasteur Obtains License to Develop Vaccine to Prevent Staph Infections

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi-aventis Group, announced today that it has entered into an exclusive, world-wide licensing agreement with Syntiron to develop and commercialize its prophylactic vaccine against Staphylococcus, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

MRSA is responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans, because these bacteria are resistant to a large group of antibiotics, including penicillins.

Syntiron is a private biotech company located in St. Paul, Minn.; its mission is the prevention and treatment of human disease resulting from bacterial infection. Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi Pasteur will support the joint, pre-clinical development of the product, working cooperatively with Syntiron, and be responsible for all future developments, regulatory approval, and commercialization of the vaccine. The agreement includes an undisclosed initial licensing fee, milestone payments, and royalty payments on future sales of the product.

"This agreement with Syntiron is just another example of Sanofi Pasteur's interest in partnering with biotechs to produce innovative vaccines to address public health needs," said Wayne Pisano, president and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur. "Along with our development of a vaccine to prevent Clostridium difficile infection, the successful development of a vaccine to prevent MRSA would be a major achievement in combating hospital-associated infections."

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