Sanofi-Aventis to Build Vaccine Facility in China

November 29, 2007
Michelle Hoffman
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Sanofi-aventis entered into an agreement with Chinese authorities allowing Sanofi to construct a vaccine-manufacturing plant in Shenzhen municipality.

Beijing (Nov. 26)-Sanofi-aventis entered into an agreement with Chinese authorities allowing Sanofi to construct a vaccine-manufacturing plant in Shenzhen municipality. The signing ceremony, which took place in Beijing, was attended by Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China, and Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, who was in China for a state visit.

Construction on the plant, which will be operated by Sanofi-Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi-aventis, is scheduled to begin in 2008, with the goal of turning out “seasonal” influenza vaccine for the Chinese market by 2012. According to a company press release, the facility is “designed to be able to switch to pandemic vaccine manufacturing if a human pandemic influenza is declared and once a pandemic influenza strain is identified by the World Health Organization.” Influenza, or the “flu,” is caused by a virus.

“China is joining a growing number of countries focusing on prevention of diseases and recognizing the value of vaccines. The time is right for Sanofi-Pasteur to further invest in China and prepare to provide this fast growing market with the most modern vaccines to be produced in a state of the industry facility,” said Gerard Le Fur, Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi-aventis in the release. The release also notes that the facility can be expanded to keep pace with the growing Chinese vaccine market. The Wall Street Journal reported that the new plant represents an investment of 70 million Euros for the company.