Sanofi-Aventis To Acquire Indian Vaccine Firm | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: July 27, 2009

Sanofi-Aventis To Acquire Indian Vaccine Firm

Shantha Biotechnics will be purchased for an undisclosed sum
Department: Business
Keywords: Pharmaceuticals, vaccine, Sanofi-Aventis

Sanofi-Aventis says it has agreed to acquire a controlling interest in Indian vaccine maker Shantha Biotechnics for an undisclosed sum.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines unit of Sanofi-Aventis, will acquire ShanH, a division of Merieux Alliance, a French biotechnology company that owns 80% of the Bombay-based firm. The deal values Shantha, which is expected to have sales this year of about $90 million, at $783 million.

"Shantha provides Sanofi Pasteur with a portfolio of new vaccines in development which complement Sanofi Pasteur's current vaccines, positioning the company to accelerate its growth in strategically important emerging markets," says Christopher A. Viehbacher, CEO of Sanofi-Aventis.

Shantha, which, in 1997, launched Shanvac-B, the first recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine produced in India, also manufactures Shan5, a combination vaccine for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, and haemophilus influenzae.

Sanofi-Aventis has been on an acquisition streak in recent months, purchasing generic drug firms in Brazil and Mexico, and BiPar Sciences, a cancer drug firm in Brisbane, Calif. Last year, the French drug major purchased a 25% stake in the Czech pharmaceutical firm Zentiva.

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