sanofi pasteur Delivers More H5N1 Vaccine for U.S. Pandemic Initiatives

SWIFTWATER, Pa. and LYON, France -- Sanofi pasteur, the vaccines business of the sanofi-aventis Group, has delivered more H5N1 vaccine to the U.S. government including investigational doses formulated with an adjuvant.

Sanofi pasteur has shipped to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 15,000 investigational doses of a vaccine to protect against the H5N1 influenza strain. Prepared with different levels of antigen, the investigational doses will be used in the NIH's clinical studies to determine the optimal formulation of the vaccine.  The investigational doses include the use of the adjuvant, aluminum hydroxide (alum), that could increase the vaccine's effectiveness and enable the use of less antigen in each dose. The end result could be a greater number of doses available to immunize more people.

In addition, the company has completed production of additional bulk-concentrate of the H5N1 vaccine antigen for the U.S. government stockpile. Once the optimal dosage is established, the bulk-concentrate antigen will be ready for final formulation and filling into doses.

The additional H5N1 bulk-concentrate vaccine represents a broadening of a contract the company signed in September 2005 with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to produce a stockpile of the H5N1 vaccine valued at $100 million. The additional bulk concentrate vaccine just produced is valued at $50 million and will support U.S. Department of Defense requirements.

The bulk-concentrate and the investigational doses were produced at sanofi pasteur's U.S. site in Swiftwater, Pa.

Source: sanofi-pasteur