No Human Vaccine Against West Nile Virus Today;
Disease Endemic in the United States
LYON, France, November 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, announced today that it has signed an exclusive global collaboration agreement with Acambis plc, for the development and marketing of a West Nile vaccine to help fight against this serious, life-altering and potentially fatal disease. Scientists believe that a safe and effective vaccine may prove to be the most cost-effective strategy to prevent severe West Nile virus illness.(1)
There is currently no human vaccine for prevention and no specific treatment for West Nile disease, which emerged in the United States in the 90's and is now considered endemic in this country. As of November 6th, 3,265 cases of West Nile illness and 92 deaths have been recorded in 42 States by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2007. The CDC has identified those aged 50 and above, which represents more than 87 million people, as being most at risk of severe West Nile virus-related disease.
"A vaccine against West Nile disease may now be within reach. This candidate vaccine is the most promising in the industry and would help meet a growing public health need," said Wayne Pisano, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi Pasteur.
Under the terms of the agreement, Acambis will continue to perform development activities, up to and including the filing of a license application in the U.S. Acambis will receive an upfront payment of $10 million and would be eligible for pre and post-marketing milestone payments of up to $70 million.
"Since 1999 when it was detected into the US, the West Nile virus has
spread across the entire continental United States, causing 27,240 cases
and 1,054 deaths," said Ian Garland, Chief Executive Officer of Acambis.
"Vaccination is the ideal approach to tackling this dis
|SOURCE Sanofi Pasteur|
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