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Sanofi Pasteur and Acambis sign West Nile vaccine deal

Sanofi Pasteur signs an exclusive global collaboration agreement with Acambis for the development and marketing of a West Nile vaccine in the US

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of French pharmaceutical company sanofi-aventis, has signed an exclusive global collaboration agreement with Acambis, for the development and marketing of a West Nile vaccine in the US.

Per the agreement, Acambis will continue to perform development activities, up to and including the filing of a license application in the US. Acambis will also receive an upfront payment of USD 10m and would be eligible for pre- and post-marketing milestone payments of up to USD 70m.

There is currently no human vaccine for prevention and no specific treatment for West Nile disease, which emerged in the US in the 1990s and is now considered endemic in the region.

The West Nile vaccine candidate is currently in a phase II clinical trial in adults aged 41-64 years and 65 years and above. Preliminary data from a previous phase II trial in healthy adults have shown that over 98 per cent of subjects developed specific antibodies in the serum 28 days after a single vaccination.

Wayne Pisano, president and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, said: "A vaccine against West Nile disease may now be within reach. This candidate vaccine is the most promising in the industry and would help meet a growing public health need."

30th September 2008

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