Sanofi vaccines division Sanofi Pasteur announced that it has entered into a long term strategic cooperation with SK Chemical Co. to co-develop a novel pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). The new agreement opens the door to Sanofi Pasteur to enter the global PCV market worth $4 billion USD.
Olivier Charmeil, Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi Pasteur, said, “Sanofi Pasteur is committed to driving the open innovation strategy in improving global public-health concerns, and to this end, this collaboration with SK Chemical will showcase a win-win partnership built on mutual strengths and expertise of each company. With this agreement, Sanofi Pasteur will enlarge its unique portfolio of products, embracing the value of open innovation.”
The agreement will include research and development, production, and marketing of a preventive pneumococcal disease vaccine. Sanofi will pay an upfront $23 million to SK Chemical Co. The collaborators will co-invest in the development of the PCV vaccine project. If possible, SK Chemical will manufacture the PCV at its An-dong production facility. Sanofi will launch the product globally once it is registered. The company will also share profits outside Korea, where the South Korean company will commercialize the product with exclusive rights.
Mr. In-Serk Lee, CEO of SK Chemical, said, “This is an important milestone for SK and for Korea. We are proud to partner with Sanofi Pasteur, one of the global leaders of the vaccine industry, to be able to develop and manufacture in Korea a premium vaccine that has the potential to be distributed worldwide.”
According to the World Health Organization, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) caused diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis and febrile bacteraemia comprise a major and global public health problem. About 14.5 million episodes of serious pneumococcal disease take place every year, leading to about 826,000 deaths in children aged one to 59 months. Sanofi said the growing resistance of pneumococcus to conventional antibiotic treatments highlights the need for vaccines for pneumococcal disease control.