Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group (Euronext: SAN) (NYSE: SNY), announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has licensed its new influenza vaccine manufacturing facility.
This new facility, located in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, will incorporate the latest technology in egg-based vaccine production as part of the company’s commitment to produce the largest number of doses of vaccine in the shortest time frame to address the threat of seasonal and pandemic influenza.
The licensure of this facility today is for production of the company’s seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine, Fluzone(R), Influenza Virus Vaccine, and augments the current Fluzone vaccine production capacity in the U.S. Sanofi Pasteur invested in the construction of this new $150 million, 140,000 square-foot (13,000 square-meter) vaccine facility as part of its commitment to support public health and to protect individuals against both seasonal and pandemic influenza. The new facility will produce 100 million doses when operating at full capacity.
In total, Sanofi Pasteur will have a capacity of approximately 150 million doses of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine per year in the U.S. – 50 million doses from the existing facility and 100 million doses from the new facility when it is operating at full capacity. Production of Fluzone vaccine for the 2009-2010 season is already underway in the new facility.
“Sanofi Pasteur is assessing its capabilities to support public health efforts should the WHO and national health authorities request that influenza vaccine manufacturers start supplying vaccine to protect against the new influenza A (H1N1) virus,” said Wayne Pisano, President and CEO of sanofi pasteur. “With the licensure of this new influenza vaccine production facility, Sanofi Pasteur now has additional flexibility to produce seasonal influenza vaccine and to respond to requests from public health authorities to develop an A (H1N1) vaccine.”
As the world’s leading influenza vaccine manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur produces approximately 40 percent of the influenza vaccines distributed worldwide and in the U.S. produced more than 45 percent of the influenza vaccines distributed for the 2008-2009 influenza season.
Source: Sanofi Pasteur, USA