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Sanofi Pasteur to launch paediatric vaccine in Japan

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, is the first international company to enter the Japanese paediatric vaccine market with its ActHIB

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, is the first international company to enter the Japanese paediatric vaccine market with its ActHIB (Haemophilus influenzae type b) vaccine, which is marketed in Japan by Daiichi-Sankyo.

Hib is transmitted between people through coughing or sneezing. The disease can be carried, with the carrier showing no symptoms but transmitting the disease to others. The risk is highest in children aged between six months and two years.

Hib vaccines became widely available in the 1990s and by 2006 children were immunised in over 120 countries worldwide. The disease affects about 500 children in Japan each year. Of these around 25 will die and a further 100 will suffer from serious conditions such as meningitis and pneumonia as a consequence of Hib infection.

"Sanofi Pasteur is proud to help protect Japanese children against bacterial meningitis and improve public health in the country," said Wayne Pisano president and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur.

"Being the first to enter the Japanese paediatric vaccine market is an achievement that underlines Sanofi Pasteur's strength and commitment to provide the highest quality innovative vaccines."

The ActHIB vaccine will be available in Japan from December 2008.

11th November 2008

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