Strategic Canadian asset puts Ontario at the heart of global vaccine innovation
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TORONTO, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, and Premier Dalton McGuinty today opened a $101 million dollar vaccine research and development facility at Sanofi Pasteur's Connaught Campus in north Toronto. This new facility establishes the Connaught Campus as the North American Centre of Excellence in analytical and bioprocessing R&D for Sanofi Pasteur globally. It solidifies the Toronto site as a national strategic asset for the research, development and manufacturing of vaccines that protect public health - in Canada and around the world.
The province of Ontario contributed $13.9 million to the project through the Biopharmaceutical Investment Program, part of the Next Generation of Jobs Fund. This investment helped retain a large vaccine R&D footprint in Ontario and will help secure future manufacturing jobs, since it is easier to reach commercial manufacturing scale for new products when R&D facilities are in close proximity to the actual manufacturing site.
"Sanofi Pasteur is a valued partner in our commitment to health care in Ontario," said Premier Dalton McGuinty. "This impressive new building houses some of the most exciting talent anywhere, doing some of the most vital research in the world. We congratulate Sanofi Pasteur and look forward to new breakthroughs and new jobs."
A national strategic asset
The new R&D facility, known internally as "Building 95", will help the company retain over 300 highly-skilled vaccine research positions and bring many of the company's accomplished scientists and state-of-the-art technologies under one roof. In fact, the North American Centre of Excellence designation means the critical mass of scientific expertise at Connaught Campus is playing a lead role in advancing Sanofi Pasteur's global vaccine pipeline.
The Toronto site manufactures many vaccines vital to public health with 94% of its vaccine production being delivered to over 90 countries around the world. In fact, over 20% of global sales at Sanofi Pasteur, the world's largest vaccine company, are generated by vaccines manufactured at the Connaught Campus. Its strategic positions include:
- The only manufacturer of 5-component acellular pertussis combination vaccines globally
- The only manufacturer of polio (IPV) vaccine in the Americas
- The only Canadian manufacturer of diphtheria and tetanus vaccines
- The capacity to stockpile paediatric vaccines domestically to ensure security of supply for Canadian immunization programs
"The ability to research, develop and manufacture vaccines puts Canada among a handful of countries with the domestic capability to respond to vaccine-preventable public health threats," said Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited. "The unique and extensive capabilities of the Connaught Campus make Sanofi Pasteur a strategic Canadian asset for the protection of public health."
A history of innovation
From its somewhat humble origins in a downtown Toronto stable in 1914, Sanofi Pasteur has built a history of innovation, partnerships and wealth creation in Canada that has benefited the world. The company's Toronto facilities were home to the world's first commercial insulin production and the company was also the sole supplier of insulin to Canadians until the 1980s; produced a highly accessible antitoxin for diphtheria, the number one public health threat to Canadian children in the early 1900s; and was an important partner in the eradication of polio in North America and smallpox globally.
The site also boasts Canada's only billion-dollar biotech product - the world's first five component acellular pertussis vaccine was researched and developed in Toronto and today is manufactured and exported to 62 countries around the world. This Canadian vaccine has become the international gold standard for preventing whooping cough, which is a constant threat to global public health, even reaching epidemic proportions in California recently.
"Sanofi Pasteur has over 95 years of history in Canada and Building 95 will help write the next 95 years of Canadian innovation," declared Mark Lievonen.
Experts have been calling for urgent action in vaccine research, as highlighted in the "New Decade of Vaccines" series published this month in The Lancet. That's why Sanofi Pasteur is proud of the $600 million in capital investments made in Toronto in the past decade. The company employs over 1,100 people at the Connaught Campus, including 300 in R&D and over 700 in highly-technical vaccine manufacturing jobs.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives, intentions and expectations with respect to future financial results, events, operations, services, product development and potential, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words "expects", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "plans" and similar expressions. Although Sanofi's management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Sanofi, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including post marketing, decisions by regulatory authorities, such as the FDA or the EMA, regarding whether and when to approve any drug, device or biological application that may be filed for any such product candidates as well as their decisions regarding labeling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of such products candidates, the absence of guarantee that the products candidates if approved will be commercially successful, the future approval and commercial success of therapeutic alternatives, the Group's ability to benefit from external growth opportunities as well as those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by Sanofi, including those listed under "Risk Factors" and "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" in Sanofi's annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2010. Other than as required by applicable law, Sanofi does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, rare diseases, consumer healthcare, emerging markets and animal health. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.us
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SOURCE Sanofi Pasteur