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Sanofi Pasteur to develop flu vaccines.

Byline: Dubai

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis group, has pledged to support the public health efforts in response to World Health Organization (WHO) phase 6 influenza pandemic alert over the emergence of the new A(H1N1) influenza strain.

The WHO had recently raised the pandemic alert level from phase 5 to phase 6, the highest level of alert in the global influenza preparedness plan.

"By committing to develop and supply a vaccine against the new influenza A(H1N1) strain, Sanofi Pasteur supports the fight against pandemic influenza led by the WHO, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, the European Institutions, the French Ministry of Health and other national and international health authorities around the world," said Wayne Pisano, president and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur.

"Sanofi Pasteur remains in continuous communication with these health authorities to help develop a tailored response to local public health needs," he stated.

As the world's largest supplier of influenza vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur is currently implementing its internal pandemic preparedness plans to ensure its continued ability to fulfill its public health mission to produce the largest number of doses of vaccine in the shortest time frame to face the threat of pandemic influenza while maintaining the production of other life-saving vaccines.

The company received the new A(H1N1) seed virus from WHO International Reference Centers, and has begun preparation of a working seed to be used for vaccine production.

Sanofi Pasteur currently estimates it will have the first bulk concentrate vaccine within four to six months. This vaccine would help prevent the spread of the new influenza A (H1N1) virus strain. Its availability would be subject to regulatory approval.

Sanofi Pasteur received an order from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on May 25, 2009 for the supply of an A(H1N1) influenza vaccine.

Sanofi Pasteur's response to the emergence of a new A(H1N1) influenza strain is to maintain flexibility in its influenza vaccine production.

The company will continue to manufacture its seasonal influenza vaccine for the 2009/2010 Northern Hemisphere influenza season as recommended by the WHO.

Production of seasonal influenza is still a priority as seasonal influenza is a very serious illness causing 250,000 to 500,000 deaths per year.o provide information about Sanofi Pasteur's response to the emergence of the new A(H1N1) influenza virus strain, the company will be continuously updating its pandemic information internet site The phase 6 is characterized by human-to-human spread of a pandemic influenza virus and community level outbreaks in at least two WHO regions of the world.

Designation of this phase indicates that a global pandemic is under way, according to the WHO. However, Phase 6 is not an indication of the severity of the influenza pandemic.- TradeArabia News Service

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jun 14, 2009
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