Sanofi-Aventis Swine Flu Vaccine Cleared in France
Mon, 11/16/2009 - 3:41am
PARIS (AP) — French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis SA said Monday it has received regulatory approval in France for Panenza, its vaccine against the swine flu virus. Panenza, made by the company's vaccine division Sanofi Pasteur, is a non-adjuvanted vaccine. Adjuvants are chemical compounds used to boost the immune system and stretch the vaccine's active ingredient. Some countries, including the United States, refuse to use adjuvants in their vaccines because there is limited information on the safety of vaccines with adjuvants for two groups — pregnant women and children older than six months — thought to be particularly vulnerable in a pandemic. Sanofi Pasteur is seeking approval for Panenza in six European Union countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain. Sanofi Pasteur's Humenza vaccine, which is made with adjuvants, is currently being reviewed by European health authorities with a decision expected in December, company spokesman Pascal Barollier said.