Sanofi Pasteur Commercializing MRSA Vaccine

The French vaccine maker announced a worldwide licensing agreement with the biotech company Syntiron to develop and commercialize its vaccine against staph, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the Lyon, France-based sanofi-aventis Group, announced Wednesday it has entered into an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement with Syntiron of St. Paul, Minn., to develop and commercialize its vaccine against staph, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is a major cause of health care-acquired infections.

Sanofi Pasteur will support the joint, pre-clinical development of the product and be responsible for all future developments, regulatory approval, and commercialization of the vaccine. "This agreement with Syntiron is just another example of Sanofi Pasteur's interest in partnering with biotechs to produce innovative vaccines to address public health needs," Sanofi Pasteur President/CEO Wayne Pisano said in the company's news release. "Along with our development of a vaccine to prevent Clostridium difficile infection, the successful development of a vaccine to prevent MRSA would be a major achievement in combating hospital-associated infections."

Citing the Internet Journal of Infectious Diseases, the release said MRSA accounts for as much as 40 percent of nosocomial (hospital-associated) staph infections in large U.S. hospitals and 25-30 percent in smaller hospitals. In Europe, its prevalence ranges from more than 50 percent in Portugal and Italy to below 2 percent in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Prevalence in Asia is about 50 percent, with high rates in Hong Kong (75 percent) and Japan (72 percent), and prevalence in African hospitals is estimated at 15 percent, with Kenya and Nigeria having the highest prevalence of 21-30 percent.

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