Sanofi starts dengue vaccine production to keep lead over rivals
NEUVILLE- S UR- S AONE: Sanofi SA has started producing its experimental dengue vaccine, the most advanced against the disease, to beat its competitors ahead of the product’s likely launch in 2015.
The mosquito-borne disease is a threat to nearly three billion people and is caused by four types of virus, none of which confers immunity from the others. Sanofi’s vaccine could generate sales of over $1 billion (R10 billion).
Sanofi Pasteur, which has been working on the project for 20 years, has kickstarted production before receiving authorisation from regulators.
“It takes two years to produce this vaccine,” said Anthony Quin, who heads Sanofi Pasteur’s manufactur- ing site in France, where the group has invested € 300 million (R3.9 billion).
Data released last year from a test in Thailand showed Sanofi’s vaccine failed to protect against one type of dengue virus, but confirmed that a safe dengue vaccine was possible.
Making a mixed dengue vaccine with four different virus strains can produce uneven results. But Sanofi, has said it would wait for data from two late-stage trials to better understand the vaccine. – Reuters