The flu, a good deal for Sanofi

It is one of the jewels of Sanofi. Built in 1973, the factory, normandy Val-de-Reuil (Eure), is the first site of production of influenza vaccines in the world. The French pharmaceutical company announced in mid-October an investment of 170 million euros to erect a new building. For the manufacture of Vaxigrip Tetra, the last-born of the influenza vaccines in the group, it should be inaugurated in 2022. Already commercialized in 24 countries, this vaccine protects against four strains of flu, compared to just three for the Vaxigrip ” classic “. It is not yet available in France, where the group is in the process of negotiating its price with the authorities.

Sanofi, which produces 200 million doses of vaccines against the flu, ” is already one of the biggest beneficiaries of the immunization campaigns launched by the health authorities each year at the beginning of the fall. Different influenza vaccines have reported 1.5 billion euros in 2016 – a rise of 15 % over 2015 – and accounts for one-third of the sales of its division of vaccine, Sanofi-Pasteur. The results of the first three quarters of 2017, announced on Thursday, November 2, confirm this trend : sales of influenza vaccines reached of 1.08 billion euros for the first nine months of the year, up 2.4 %. The group habs produce 40% of the influenza vaccines distributed in the world.

Issue of the next few years, ” expanded coverage ”

They are produced ” the old fashioned way “, from an influenza virus grown on eggs of hens from farms specialized. But to keep a step ahead of its competitors, the group acquired in August a biotech american specialized in the manufacturing of influenza vaccine from genetically engineered cells. Founded in 1983 in Connecticut (northeastern United States), Protein Sciences was awarded in October last year, the approval to market in the United States…

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