Sanofi Pasteur agrees pneumococcal vaccine deal with SK Chemical Co

Forms long-term alliance to develop and commercialise this vaccine

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi said its Sanofi Pasteur vaccines division has signed a long-term cooperation deal with South Korea's SK Chemical Co to develop and market a vaccine against pneumococcal disease.

Under the agreement, Sanofi will make an up-front payment of US$23m to SK Chemical.

Both companies will invest in the development of the vaccine project and, if successful, SK Chemical will produce the vaccine at its facility located in An-dong, in the southern part of Korea.

The product, once registered, will be launched globally by Sanofi Pasteur with shared profits outside of Korea, where SK would commercialise it with exclusive rights.

Sanofi Pasteur CEO, Olivier Charmeil, said. 'With this agreement, Sanofi Pasteur will enlarge its unique portfolio of products, embracing the value of open innovation.'

In-Serk Lee, CEO of SK Chemical, added: 'This is an important milestone for SK and for Korea.'

According to the World Health Organisation, diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) constitute a major, global public-health problem. It is estimated that about 14.5 million episodes of serious pneumococcal disease occur annually, resulting in about 826,000 deaths in children aged 1–59 months.

SK Chemical recently unveiled its multi-product production facility, which is currently producing various vaccines for clinical trials. Once the testing is over, the plant will start producing vaccines at large scale using next-generation technologies.