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Sanofi Pasteur Awarded Contract to Retrofit Influenza Vaccine Facility

Sanofi pasteur continues to join with the U.S. government in enhancing the nation’s pandemic preparedness to protect public health

Jun 14, 2007

Swiftwater, Pa., and Lyon (France) – 14 June, 2007 – Sanofi pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi­aventis Group, today announced it has been awarded a $ 77.4 million contract by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to retrofit its existing influenza vaccine manufacturing facility. Sanofi pasteur will contribute approximately $ 25 million to the overall project. The contract covers costs for design, retrofit and the maintenance of the facilities at a state of readiness so the company can switch to pandemic influenza vaccine manufacture at the HHS' request.

 

The design phase will begin immediately. The retrofit will begin when the company’s new influenza vaccine manufacturing facility is licensed by the FDA and operational. The existing facility will then be phased out and decommissioned for the retrofit.

 

The existing facility has been modified over the years to produce approximately 50 million doses of vaccine for the U.S. market during the course of the past several influenza seasons. When both facilities are validated, the company’s capacity will approximately triple from its current capacity.

 

This award marks the company’s seventh pandemic influenza­related contract with the U.S. government. Previous contracts have covered the production of investigational doses for clinical trials; bulk vaccine for stockpiling; the establishment and maintenance of laying chicken flocks to enable year­round egg production (not just seasonal); as well as a contract to speed the production process for new cell culture influenza vaccines, including the design of a U.S.­based cell­culture vaccine manufacturing facility.

 

Pandemic Influenza Overview

Influenza is a disease caused by a highly infectious virus that spreads easily from person to person, primarily when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. An influenza pandemic is a global epidemic of an especially virulent virus, newly infectious for humans, and for which there is no preexisting immunity. This is why these pandemic strains have such potential to cause severe morbidity and mortality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the next pandemic is likely to result in 1 to 2.3 million hospitalizations and 280,000 to 650,000 deaths in industrialized nations alone. Its impact is expected to be even more devastating in developing countries. In an attempt to minimize the impact of a pandemic, many countries are developing national and transnational plans against an eventual influenza pandemic situation.

 

Sanofi Pasteur and Pandemic Preparedness

Sanofi pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi­aventis Group, is committed to global pandemic preparedness. As the world leader in research, development and manufacturing of influenza vaccine, sanofi pasteur is actively involved in projects in the U.S. and Europe, with the goal of developing a vaccine to protect against a pandemic influenza virus.

 

Sanofi pasteur is also investing in a major expansion of its influenza vaccine production capacity in the U.S. and also of its vaccine production capacity in France (Val de Reuil facility).

 

For more information please visit www.sanofipasteur.com/pandemicpreparedness

 

About sanofi­aventis

Sanofi­aventis is one of the world leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world­class R&D organisation, sanofi­aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine and vaccines. Sanofi­aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

 

Sanofi pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi­aventis Group, provided more than a billion doses of vaccine in 2006, 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 EUR1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.us

 

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward­looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward­looking 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. Forward­looking 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 forward­looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward­looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of sanofi­aventis, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward­looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by sanofi­aventis, including those listed under “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward­Looking Statements” in sanofi­aventis’ annual report on Form 20­F for the year ended December 31, 2006. Other than as required by applicable law, sanofi­aventis does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward­looking information or statements.

For further information: sanofi pasteur Pascal Barollier International Media Relations Tel: + 33­(0)4­37­37­51­41 pascal.barollier@sanofipasteur.com sanofi pasteur Len Lavenda U.S. Media Relations Tel: +1­570­839­4446 len.lavenda@sanofipasteur.com