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S-A acquires Shantha Biotechnics

Sanofi-aventis (S-A) has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Indian vaccine maker, Shantha Biotechnics, for an undisclosed amount

Sanofi-aventis (S-A) has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Indian vaccine maker, Shantha Biotechnics, for an undisclosed amount. 

Under the terms of the agreement, the vaccines division, Sanofi Pasteur, will buy ShanH, a holding company that controls 80 per cent of Shantha Biotechnics, from French biotechnology firm Merieux Alliance. Sanofi Pasteur will support Shantha's ongoing development as a platform to address the need for high quality, affordable vaccination in international markets. Sales are expected to grow significantly given the commercial resources of Sanofi Pasteur and through the development and launch of Shantha's pipeline of new vaccines. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter. 

Commenting on the acquisition, S-A's chief executive, Christopher Viehbacher, said: "Shantha provides Sanofi Pasteur with a portfolio of new vaccines in development which complement Sanofi Pasteur's current vaccines."

Since Viehbacher's appointment early this year, S-A has been on an acquisition drive, buying smaller drugmakers in the Czech Republic, Mexico and Brazil. Most recently, it agreed to pay $500m for Brisbane, California-based BiPar Sciences, which is working on a new cancer treatment. Through these acquisitions the company aims to refill a development pipeline that analysts see as woefully light on new drugs to replace those that will soon go off patent and face competition from cheaper copies.

This latest agreement values Shantha at €550m ($783m).

27th July 2009

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