Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccinesdivision of the sanofi-aventis Group, announced today that it has entered intoan exclusive, world-wide licensing agreement with Syntiron to develop andcommercialize its prophylactic vaccine against Staphylococcus, includingMethicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. MRSA are responsible forseveral difficult-to-treat infections in humans, sometimes referred to asmultidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus because these bacteria are resistantto a large group of antibiotics, including penicillins. Syntiron is a private biotech company located in St. Paul, Minnesota; itsmission is the prevention and treatment of human disease resulting frombacterial infection. Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi Pasteur willsupport the joint, pre-clinical development of the product, workingcooperatively with Syntiron, and be responsible for all future developments,regulatory approval, and commercialization of the vaccine. The agreementincludes an undisclosed initial licensing fee, milestone payments, and royaltypayments on future sales of the product. "This agreement with Syntiron is just another example of Sanofi Pasteur'sinterest in partnering with biotechs to produce innovative vaccines to addresspublic health needs," said Wayne Pisano, President and Chief Executive Officeof Sanofi Pasteur. "Along with our development of a vaccine to preventClostridium difficile infection, the successful development of a vaccine toprevent MRSA would be a major achievement in combating hospital-associatedinfections."