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Sanofi Pasteur Receives Seed Virus to Produce New Influenza A(H1N1) Vaccine
Date:5/27/2009

- Company to take first steps toward large-scale production -

SWIFTWATER, Pa. and LYON, France, May 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi-aventis Group (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY), announced today it has received the new influenza A(H1N1) seed virus, enabling the world's leading manufacturer of influenza vaccines to begin the production process for an A(H1N1) vaccine.

The emergence of a new influenza A(H1N1) virus strain recently led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a Level 5 pandemic alert, following human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region.

"As a company committed to protecting human health, Sanofi Pasteur looks forward to quickly understanding how this virus performs in a vaccine manufacturing environment and developing a working seed that will enable large-scale production," said Wayne Pisano, President and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur. "This is an important step for engaging Sanofi Pasteur's resources and expertise to support public health authorities and the directives they provide us."

Receipt of the seed virus means that Sanofi Pasteur will begin the development process, called "passaging," that will yield a "working seed." Passaging is the process for acclimating virus to grow in a production environment at optimum yield. The passaging process is expected to take approximately two weeks. Following quality controls, Sanofi Pasteur will be prepared to begin industrial production as soon as directed by public health agencies.

Sanofi Pasteur operates influenza vaccine production facilities in Swiftwater, Pa. and Val de Reuil, France.

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