Sanofi Pasteur unveils 4-strain influenza vaccine

Sanofi Pasteur’s four-strain influenza vaccine, Vaxigrip Tetra

By Lee Hyo-sik

Sanofi Pasteur Korea has unveiled its latest four-strain influenza vaccine, which it says will provide broader protection against viruses in the coming winter season.

The vaccine-making arm of French pharmaceutical giant, Sanofi, said Tuesday it will begin selling Vaxigrip Tetra in September. It added the sales of its vaccine here will outpace ones manufactured by Glaxo Smith Kline and other multinational drug companies.

“Vaxigrip Tetra helps protect people aged 36 months or older from influenza, caused by two A strains and two B strains of influenza virus,” said Baptiste de Clarens, general manager of Sanofi Pasteur Korea. “In June, we received a product license from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety for this new vaccine.”

Vaxigrip Tetra includes one additional B virus stain offering wider protection than the previous influenza vaccines, which contained only three strains; two A strains and a single B strain.

In four large global clinical studies in Europe, Asia, South America and Oceania involving over 4,000 people, Vaxigrip Tetra showed good immunogenicity and safety across all age groups 36 months and older, the company said.

“The results show the immunogenicity of the vaccine was superior to that of the previous Vaxigrip, a widely-used vaccine which sold 1.8 billion doses around the world,” Clarens said. “The safety of Vaxigrip Tetra was comparable to that of Vaxigrip. In addition, the immune response generated by the vaccine was even as the uniformity of lots was maintained.”

Vaxigrip Tetra is imported from France as a finished product built upon Sanofi Pasteur’s supply expertise and know-how in influenza vaccines for more than 60 years, according to the general manger.

He also noted Sanofi Pasteur has a rigorous quality control and process system, and provides influenza vaccines to about 150 countries worldwide.

Pasteur Sanofi vaccines account for more than 40 percent of the world’s influenza vaccine market, he said.

“Vaxigrip Tetra is an imported finished four-strain influenza vaccine, which demonstrates good immunogenicity and safety in four large global clinical trials across four continents,” Clarens said. “Korea’s influenza market will be dominated by four-strain vaccines this year. We, Sanofi Pasteur as a global leader in influenza vaccines, protect more people and enable them to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.”

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