VAL-DE-REUIL, France (Reuters) – Sanofi on Thursday expressed confidence in the growth of its influenza vaccines after committing to invest 170 million euros to expand its manufacturing facility at Val-de-Reuil in north-western France.
The new facility will allow Sanofi Pasteur, the group’s vaccines arm, to expand the supply of VaxigripTetra, its newest “quadrivalent” vaccine, to up to 70 countries from around 20 currently. Production is due to start in 2022.
VaxigripTetra protects against four strains of the flu virus and competes with other quadrivalent and “trivalent” products already on the market.
Annual flu epidemics cause three to five million cases of severe illness worldwide and 250,000-500,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Other leading manufacturers of seasonal flu vaccines include GlaxoSmithKline and CSL’s Seqirus, which includes the former Novartis flu vaccine business.
“We are still seeing major needs for vaccination in emerging countries as well as in Europe where vaccination rates differ from…