Sanofi Pasteur acquires unique vaccine technology

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi-aventis Group, has signed a binding agreement to acquire biotechnology company VaxDesign.

VaxDesign, based in Orlando, Florida, develops, manufactures and markets in vitro models of the human immune system. The purchase will cost Sanofi approximately $60 million.

The goal of the acquisition is VaxDesign’s Modular IMmune In-vitro Construct (MIMIC) technology, which uses a surrogate human immune system to evaluate the potential of a vaccine. The technology could replace animal testing and will enable more accurate assessment of a vaccine’s value at the preclinical stage.

VaxDesign President and CEO William Warren said the company is “excited and appreciative to be part of the Sanofi Pasteur legacy of innovation”.

“MIMIC is the most-advanced platform in the field,” declared Michel DeWilde, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Sanofi Pasteur. “With this novel model for understanding mechanisms of action, the probability of clinical success increases and the time to market should decrease.

“MIMIC successfully reproduced our own clinical data and is adaptable for the evaluation of multiple diseases and corresponding patient populations. This platform will provide a significant competitive advantage in the development of vaccines.”