Sanofi-Aventis Begins Work on $477M Dengue Vaccine Plant
Sanofi-Aventis on Tuesday started work on a $477 million plant north of Lyon, France, that will be devoted to the production of a vaccine against dengue fever, AP/Forbes reports. Sanofi-Aventis aims to begin producing a dengue vaccine in the plant by 2013.
No vaccine is currently available for the mosquito-borne disease, which has spread significantly in recent decades, according to the WHO, AP/Forbes reports. Dengue, a "threat for some two-fifths of the world's population," can cause "severe joint pain, high fever, nausea and a rash and in the worst cases it can lead to internal bleeding, liver enlargement, circulatory shutdown and death," AP/Forbes writes. Sanofi-Aventis said the plant is its biggest industrial investment ever.
The company's vaccine division, Sanofi Pasteur, has ongoing vaccine studies in the Philippines and Thailand. They are part of second phase trials that include tests on children and adolescents in Mexico and Peru, according to a statement. Last month, the company said it plans to widen clinical trials of its potential vaccine to Singapore and Vietnam.
Jean-Marc Podvin, Sanofi-Aventis' spokesman, said that the company might seek regulatory approval of the vaccine by 2012 (AP/Forbes, 5/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.