Sanofi Pasteur Gains Control of Shantha Biotechnics

July 30, 2009
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

This week, Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi aventis (Paris), acquired the ShanH subsidiary of Mérieux Alliance, a holding company.

This week, Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi aventis (Paris), acquired the ShanH subsidiary of Mérieux Alliance, a holding company. The transaction gives Sanofi Pasteur a majority stake in vaccine producer Shantha Biotechnics (Hyderabad, India). The deal values Shantha at EUR 550 million ($778 million) and is expected to close before the end of the third quarter.

Alain Mérieux, chair of Mérieux Alliance, will become chair of ShanH’s board and of a new joint committee on vaccine strategy for emerging markets. Varaprasad Reddy, who founded Shantha in 1993, will stay on as the company’s managing director. Mérieux Alliance and Sanofi Pasteur both originated in Institut Mérieux, which was founded by Alain Mérieux’s grandfather, Marcel Mérieux.

In 1997, Shantha launched SHANVAC-B, the first recombinant hepatitis B vaccine produced in India, according to a sanofi-aventis press release. The company recently launched a pentavalent pediatric vaccine and a cholera vaccine.

Shantha’s sales are expected to total approximately $90 million for the current fiscal year. Sanofi Pasteur will support Shantha in its goal of providing affordable, high-quality medicines to developing countries. Sanofi Pasteur also will use its commercial resources to increase Shantha’s sales and launch Shantha’s pipeline of new vaccines in development, which include a rotavirus vaccine, a conjugated typhoid vaccine, and a human papillomavirus vaccine.

Shantha’s pipeline complements Sanofi Pasteur’s current vaccine portfolio and will help the latter company accelerate its growth in emerging markets, said Christopher A. Viehbacher, CEO of sanofi-aventis, in the press release. Shantha’s manufacturing facilities will provide Sanofi Pasteur additional capacity to manufacture important vaccines for world markets, Viehbacher said.

“Shantha’s future development necessitates support from a major international vaccine company,” said Mérieux in the press release. “This agreement gives me the opportunity to reconnect with Sanofi Pasteur, a company to which I am historically attached. I am also pleased to remain involved-together with Dr. Varaprasad Reddy-in the group’s strategy in the domain of preventive medicine and of human vaccines tailored to the countries of the South.”

See the related blog post on PharmTech Talk.

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