Sanofi Pasteur announced it “received the first of what is expected to be a series of orders from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to commence production of a vaccine to help protect against the new influenza A(H1N1) virus.” Sanofi said the order from HHS was issued “pursuant to an existing pandemic stockpile contract between Sanofi Pasteur and the U.S. government that allows HHS to purchase vaccines for viruses with pandemic potential.” The order is in the amount of $190 million. In addition to this initial HHS order, the company is in discussions with other governments to address their needs for A(H1N1) vaccine.
Wayne Pisano, President and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, said, “This initial order for A(H1N1) vaccine received today under our existing contract is part of a major effort by Sanofi Pasteur to support global public health efforts to prepare the world for the possibility of an influenza pandemic. Production of a new vaccine is not a simple task and there are a number of necessary and complex steps that must be taken before a vaccine can be made available to the public, but we have experience on our side. Previously, we developed and licensed the first pre-pandemic vaccine for H5N1 and we look forward to further demonstrating our experience and expertise in vaccine development as we prepare for this new threat from A(H1N1).”
Sanofi Pasteur said it is awaiting receipt of the seed virus to be used for vaccine production from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Once the seed is received, Sanofi Pasteur will begin development efforts to prepare a working seed for vaccine production. Sanofi Pasteur noted that it is prepared to commence commercial scale production in June following certification of the working seed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company estimates that it will have the first bulk concentrate vaccine in a few months.
(PRNewswire, 25 May 2009)