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Sanofi to donate 60m doses of bird flu vaccine

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, has announced that it will donate 60m doses of its H5N1 vaccine to the World Health Organisation
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, has announced that it will donate 60m doses of its H5N1 vaccine to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In 2007, the first licence in the US for an avian influenza vaccine for humans was issued to Sanofi Pasteur by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). Since 2004, the company has produced millions of doses of H5N1 vaccine.

"The H5N1 virus is currently circulating in some of the poorest regions of the world and an outbreak of pandemic influenza would most likely hit populations living in areas with limited access to vaccines," said Wayne Pisano, president and chief executive officer of Sanofi Pasteur.

"This donation of H5N1 vaccine aims to address the needs of those most vulnerable populations."

In a press release issued in October 2007, WHO said that with improvements in manufacturing technology, experts anticipated a global production capacity of 4.5bn pandemic immunisation courses per year by 2010.

Based on its internal data, Sanofi Pasteur claims to be lead producer of influenza vaccines, supplying an estimated 40 per cent of the world influenza vaccine market.

17th June 2008

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