Per an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Sanofi Pasteur will gain $226 million to increase its domestic pandemic influenza vaccine production capabilities.
This money will go to the clinical development and manufacturing of an adjuvanted recombinant pandemic vaccine based on Sanofi’s Flublok Quadrivalent influenza vaccine. This, Sanofi says, will bolster U.S. and global pandemic preparedness. It will also expand the company’s production capabilities at its Swiftwater, Pennsylvania facility and build them beyond its current egg-based manufacturing.
“We are pleased to be taking this critical next step in our longstanding relationship with BARDA, which will enable us to significantly enhance flu vaccine supply under pandemic influenza scenarios,” David Loew, executive vice president of vaccines at Sanofi, said. “We are deeply committed to advancing influenza vaccine technology and manufacturing, and our public and private partnerships are an important part of these ongoing efforts to help protect people from influenza.”
Flublok Quadrivalent is meant for adults and has been proven to prevent 30 to 43 percent more cases of influenza in a lab-controlled test of those 50 years old or older when compared to a standard dose of quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine. Flublok is meant for influenza A and B strains and is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved recombinant protein-based influenza vaccine.
“The question is not if, but when the next influenza pandemic will occur, carrying potentially devastating consequences for public health and the U.S. economy,” BARDA Director Rick Bright said. “As the recent presidential executive order on pandemic preparedness emphasized, technology to produce effective vaccines quickly and safely in the United States can improve access, protect more people sooner and, ultimately, strengthen national and global health security. Public-private partnerships, such as this one with Sanofi Pasteur, are essential in moving such technology forward.”