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Sanofi-aventis supports public health efforts against new influenza A/H1N1 virus

Sanofi-aventis and its vaccines division Sanofi Pasteur pursue pandemic preparedness plan in response to WHO Phase 4 influenza pandemic alert

Apr 29, 2009

Paris, France – 29 April 2009 – Sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT : SAN and NYSE : SNY) and its vaccines division Sanofi Pasteur announce today their readiness to support public health efforts to prevent the circulation of a new influenza A/H1N1 virus following the decision made by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise the influenza pandemic alert level from phase 3 pandemic preparedness to phase 4.

 

The change to a higher phase of pandemic alert indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased. This decision triggers the next steps in sanofi-aventis Group pandemic preparedness plans. Sanofi Pasteur, as the world's leading producer of influenza vaccine, will continue to manufacture seasonal influenza vaccine as recommended by the WHO on April 27, 2009. It will also stand ready to develop a vaccine effective against the new A /H1N1 virus identified by the WHO.

 

Sanofi-aventis has been contacted by health and regulatory authorities regarding the development and production of a vaccine that would help prevent the spread of this new influenza A/H1N1 virus, once a vaccine strain is available from health authorities.

Sanofi Pasteur continues to monitor the situation regarding the emergence of this new influenza A/H1N1 virus and to support efforts led by the WHO, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, the Government of Mexico, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and various other health authorities around the world.

 

The decision to raise the level of pandemic preparedness to phase 4 was based primarily on epidemiological data demonstrating human-to-human transmission and the ability of the virus to cause community-level outbreaks, according to the WHO. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is inevitable.

 

Pandemic preparedness

Sanofi-aventis is actively involved in pandemic preparedness and has invested in a major expansion of its influenza vaccine production capacity. Sanofi Pasteur is also committed to continuing its robust research and development program by exploring strategies for protecting more people.

 

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

 

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, provided more than 1.6 billion doses of vaccine in 2008, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.us

 

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include financial projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives, intentions and expectations with respect to future events, operations, products and services, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “plans” and similar expressions. Although sanofi- aventis’ management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of sanofi-aventis, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by sanofi-aventis, including those listed under “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in sanofiaventis’ annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2008. Other than as required by applicable law, sanofi-aventis does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.

For further information: Global Media Relations Pascal Barollier T. +33-(0)4-37-37-50-38 pascal.barollier@sanofipasteur.com www.sanofipasteur.com US Media Relations Len Lavenda T. +1-570-957-0717 len.lavenda@sanofipasteur.com www.sanofipasteur.us