News Archives

05/03/2016


 

Canada’s Top Student Scientist Recognized at Sanofi Biogenius Canada National Final 
Iveta Demirova, 16, student at New Westminster Secondary School in British Columbia, Recognized for Novel HIV-1 Treatment

 

Ottawa, Ontario – May 3, 2016 – Iveta Demirova from New Westminster Secondary School in New Westminster, British Columbia, has been awarded top honours at the national final of the prestigious Sanofi Biogenius Canada (SBC) competition in Ottawa.  The 16-year-old, grade 11 student, was chosen by the judges for her research project exploring the development of a novel HIV-1 therapy.
 

The results of Iveta’s research project, completed with the support of mentor Dr. Ralph Pantophlet of Simon Fraser University, could offer numerous advantages to those living with HIV, which remains one of the world’s leading infectious diseases. Although current treatment options have managed to successfully target and suppress the virus among patients, many individuals become resistant to treatment, and it is among this population that Iveta’s project could play a significant role. 
 

“I was very pleased with the results of my research and I am hoping that my findings will have an impact within the field of HIV research, and, more importantly, in the lives of patients living with this disease,” she said. “I am truly honoured to have won the Sanofi Biogenius Canada competition, and thrilled to have the opportunity to represent the country at the 2016 International BioGENEius Challenge in San Francisco in June.”
 

One of the country’s most prestigious student competitions, Sanofi Biogenius Canada pairs exceptional young scientists at the high school level with academic mentors to pursue real-world research projects. These enriching partnerships have resulted in many promising breakthroughs across various scientific fields.
 

Hosted at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the competition’s national final featured the winners of all nine Sanofi Biogenius Canada regional competitions across the country. The nine finalists presented their research projects to a judging panel of esteemed members of the scientific community, including Dr. Robert Tsushima, Associate Dean, Research and Partnerships, Faculty of Science, York University; Dr. Thomas Merritt, Canada Research Chair in Genomics and Bioinformatics, Laurentian University; Dr. Lakshmi Krishnan, Program Leader, NRC and Michael McCluskie, Senior Research Officer, NRC.
 

“What distinguishes Sanofi Biogenius Canada from other science competitions is the real-life experience that participants gain by working in close collaboration with a mentor. There is nothing more inspiring than having the opportunity to pursue groundbreaking research projects with experts and leaders in their respective fields. Not only is the depth of Iveta’s research project commendable, but it is a concrete example of the benefits of programs like SBC, which help transform passion into tangible results,” said Mark Lievonen, Canada Country Chair, Sanofi and General Manager, Sanofi Pasteur.
 

Iveta receives a cash prize of $5,000, a portion of which will go to New Westminster Secondary School, and she will now progress to the 2016 International BioGENEius Challenge in San Francisco in June, where she will submit her work to a panel of pre-eminent international scientists.    

Runners-up in this year’s national SBC competition were awarded cash prizes ranging in value from $1,000 to $4,000.
 

Second prize went to Melody Song, a student from Evan Hardy Collegiate in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Melody earned high praise for her research project which focused on preventing disease in Faba Bean crops, and was completed with the support of mentors Dr. Kirstin E. Bett and Dr. Hamid Khasaei of the University of Saskatchewan.
 

Third prize was awarded to Denis Drewnik, a grade 12 student from Sisler High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for a project that examined how to protect the canola crop from the devastating Blackleg disease, which can reduce yield by up to 20% and have a devastating economic impact. Denis’ project was supported by mentor Dr. Mark Belmonte of the University of Manitoba.
 

Dina Shehata from Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John’s, Newfoundland earned the competition’s Commercialization prize. The Commercialization prize recognizes the project with the most commercial potential and viability. Dina’s research focused on developing a low cost gel model for ultrasound training.

 

About the Sanofi Biogenius Challenge (SBC)

Sanofi Biogenius Canada is a national science research competition open to high school students, which since 1992, has helped almost 5,000 young Canadians pursue real-world scientific research projects that have been the launch pads to future studies and careers. Coordinated by Partners In Research, the initiative is sponsored by Sanofi Canada, the National Research Council Canada/Conseil national de recherches Canada (NRC-CNRC), Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and DelMar Pharmaceuticals.
 

For more information, visit biogenius.ca, or follow SBC on Facebook (facebook.com/SanofiBiogenius) or Twitter (@biogeniusca) using the hashtag #SBC2016.

 

 

Media Contacts:
Maxime-Elisabeth Illick
NATIONAL Public Relations
meillick@national.ca
Tel.: 514- 843-2322
Cell: 514-475-9131

Mel Kern
Partners In Research
mkern@pirweb.org
Tel.: 519-433-7866 ext. 29

02/24/2016

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recognizes superior efficacy of high dose vaccine for adults 65 years of age and older compared to standard dose trivalent influenza vaccine

 

Toronto, Canada – February 24, 2016 – Sanofi Pasteur announces Health Canada’s approval of FLUZONE® High-Dose vaccine, the first and only influenza vaccine developed for adults 65 years of age and older with evidence demonstrating that it is significantly more effective in preventing lab-confirmed influenza illness versus a standard dose trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV).1-3

 

In its immunization advisory statement for the upcoming 2016/2017 influenza season, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has stated: ‘Considering the burden of disease associated with influenza A(H3N2) and the evidence of superior efficacy of high dose TIV compared to standard dose TIV, it appears that high dose TIV would provide the greatest benefit to the ≥65 years age group.’4

 

As the immune system declines with age, older adults do not respond to standard dose influenza vaccines as well as younger adults.1,4,5FLUZONE® High-Dose vaccine was developed to address the need for an enhanced immune response in those 65 years of age and older.1 Importantly, FLUZONE® High-Dose was recognized by Health Canada and NACI to have demonstrated higher efficacy against lab-confirmed influenza illness compared to a standard dose vaccine in adults 65 years of age and older.1-3

 

“Reducing the rates of influenza and its complications in the senior adult population is a key public health priority,” said Dr. Janet McElhaney, Geriatrician, Medical Lead for Seniors Care, Health Sciences North Volunteer Association Chair in Healthy Aging and Scientific Director for the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada. “There is now strong data which demonstrates that this high dose vaccine provides those 65 years of age and older with enhanced protection against influenza. This is the first randomized trial that has shown not only an increase in efficacy, but has also translated into clinically important outcomes.”

 

A large, randomized, controlled study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, in a study population of approximately 32,000 adults 65 years of age and older, demonstrated that about one quarter (24.2%, 95% CI: 9.7 to 36.5) of all breakthrough influenza illnesses influenza caused by any influenza viral types or subtypes could be prevented if high dose vaccine were used instead of a standard dose TIV.1,2,*

 

“Public health authorities have long recognized a large unmet need among seniors as it relates to influenza and have been asking for the development of more effective influenza vaccines for this age group who are more vulnerable to the consequences of the flu,” said Dr. Dion Neame, Head, Scientific and Medical Affairs, Sanofi Pasteur Limited. “As a company, we invested in a large efficacy trial which has provided robust evidence that addresses a public health priority to help reduce influenza illness among adults 65 years and older. FLUZONE® High-Dose vaccine has been available in the U.S. since 2009 and we look forward to bringing this innovation to Canada this fall.”

 

Impact of Influenza on adults 65 years and older in Canada: Key Facts

 

  • Adults 65 years and older experience heightened susceptibility to influenza-related complications due in large part to a natural and progressive weakening of the immune system with age.1,4,5
  • Adults 65 years of age and older represent 15 per cent of Canadian population but account for 70 per cent of total influenza-related hospitalizations and 90 per cent of total influenza-related deaths6,7
  • While most people can recover from influenza in as few as seven days, it may take longer for adults 65 years of age as they are at risk of developing more severe complications, including pneumonia or worsening underlying medical conditions4

 

All adults 65 years of age and older are advised to receive an influenza vaccine annually according to NACI as this age group is considered to be at particularly high-risk of influenza-related complications or hospitalization.4,5

 

About FLUZONE® High-Dose Vaccine

 

FLUZONE® High-Dose is a trivalent vaccine that contains four times the amount of hemagglutinin (HA) per strain as compared to a standard dose vaccine.1,2FLUZONE® High-Dose is indicated for active immunization against influenza caused by the specific strains of influenza virus contained in the vaccine in adults 65 years of age and older. It is administered as a single 0.5 mL injection by the intramuscular route.1 Higher rates of some injection-site and systemic reactions were observed among recipients of the high-dose vaccine compared to standard-dose vaccine, but most reactions were mild and resolved within three days.1,4

 

For more information about FLUZONE® High-Dose Influenza Vaccine, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.ca/PM/fluzoneHD_e .

 

About Sanofi

Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

 

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers a broad range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.ca

 

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Sanofi Pasteur Limited

Danielle Richardson                                                               

T. 416-667-2700 ext. 6950.

Danielle.Richardson@sanofipasteur.com

References                                                                            

 

  1. Product Monograph: FLUZONE® High-Dose Influenza Virus Vaccine Trivalent Types A and B (Split Virion). Sanofi Pasteur.  Approved September 2015
  2. DiazGranados, C. A. et al. Efficacy of high-dose versus standard-dose influenza vaccine in older adults. The New England journal of medicine 371, 635-645 (2014).
  3. DiazGranados, C. A. et al. Prevention of serious events in adults 65 years of age or older: A comparison between high-dose and standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccines. Vaccine 33, 4988-4993 (2015).
  4. Public Health Agency of Canada (2016). An Advisory Committee Statement (ACS) National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI): Canadian Immunization Guide Chapter on Influenza and Interim Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2016-2017.
  5. Public Health Agency of Canada (2016). An Advisory Committee Statement (ACS) National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI): A Review of the Literature of High Dose Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for Adults 65 Years and Older.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What You Should Know and Do this Flu Season If You Are 65 Years and Older. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/65over.htm.
  7. Statistics Canada. 2011 Census of Canada: Topic-based tabulations. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/tbt-tt/Rp-. Accessed June 2015.

*The pre-specified statistical superiority criterion for the primary endpoint (lower limit of the 2-sided 95% CI of the vaccine efficacy of FLUZONE® High-Dose relative to FLUZONE® >9.1%; p-value against H0:VE ≤ 9.1% = 0.022 one-sided) was met in a large, randomized, double-blinded, active-controlled clinical trial with approximately 32,000 subjects 65 years of age and older. The primary endpoint was the occurrence of laboratory-confirmed influenza caused by any influenza viral types or subtypes, in association with a protocol-defined influenza-like illness.1,2

 
12/09/2015

- First marketing authorization of Dengvaxia® is a historic milestone paving the way to significantly impact dengue burden in endemic countries - 
 

Lyon, France - December 9, 2015 - Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announced today that the Mexican authorities have granted marketing authorization to Dengvaxia®, making it the first vaccine to be licensed in the world for the prevention of dengue.

The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) has approved Dengvaxia®, tetravalent dengue vaccine, for the prevention of disease caused by all four dengue virus serotypes in preadolescents, adolescents and adults, 9 to 45 years of age living in endemic areas.

“When Sanofi set out to develop a dengue vaccine 20 years ago together with local and global public health and scientific communities, it was with the intention of developing an innovative vaccine to tackle this global public health need,” said Olivier Brandicourt, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi. “Today, with this first marketing authorization of Dengvaxia®, we have achieved our goal of making dengue the next vaccine-preventable disease. This is a historic milestone for our company, for the global public health community and, most importantly, for half the world’s population who lives at risk of dengue.”

The COFEPRIS approval of Dengvaxia® is based on results from an extensive clinical development program involving over 40,000 people of different ages, geographic and epidemiological settings, and ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds living in 15 countries. Dengue-endemic regions of Mexico participated in all three phases of the clinical development program for the vaccine.

“Dengue is a growing health threat in Mexico and many other tropical and subtropical countries in Latin America and Asia. The first vaccine approved to prevent dengue fever is a major innovation and a public health breakthrough. Dengvaxia® will be a critical addition to the integrated dengue prevention and control efforts. It will be an essential tool to boost on-going community efforts to relieve the long-standing suffering that this disease continues to bring to people in endemic countries like ours,” asserts José Luis Arredondo García, Associate Director of Clinical Research in the National Institute of Pediatrics*.

Regulatory review processes for Dengvaxia® are continuing in other endemic countries. Manufacturing of Dengvaxia® has already started at vaccine facilities in France and first doses are already produced. Sanofi Pasteur remains committed to introducing Dengvaxia® first in countries where dengue is a major public health priority.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for development of a dengue vaccine as an essential part of the integrated dengue prevention effort needed to significantly lower the dengue burden globally. The WHO has called on endemic countries to reduce dengue mortality by 50% and morbidity by 25% by 2020. Disease impact modelling results indicate if you vaccinate 20% of the population in the 10 endemic countries that participated in the Phase III efficacy studies for Dengvaxia, in the ages 9 and above indication, you could potentially reduce your dengue burden by 50% in five years.1 Such a significant disease reduction in this large at-risk population would result in a smaller pool of infected individuals in a given country and, therefore, fewer mosquitoes capable of transmitting the disease, potentially leading to an overall lowering of transmission risk for all.

*Pediatrician specialized in infectious diseases and coordinator of the Medical Science Master and PHD programs in the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), campus National Institute of Pediatrics.

 

Dengue disease burden

According to the WHO, dengue is the fastest growing mosquito-borne disease in the world today, causing nearly 400 million infections every year.2 Factors such as increased urbanization, mobility of populations and climate changes that increase the range of the dengue mosquito vector have created a perfect storm for dengue expansion. In the last 50 years dengue has spread from being present in a handful of countries to being endemic in 128 countries, where about 4 billion people live, and dengue incidence has likewise increased 30-fold in this time period.3,4

The mosquito that transmits dengue feeds mainly at dawn and dusk and can breed in very small amounts of standing water, making it a formidable foe for public-health workers and endemic community residents alike. Dengue is a painful disease that is also known as ‘break bone’ fever due to the terrible bone and joint pain it causes. In addition to this human suffering, dengue also has the ability to break the back of local healthcare systems during outbreaks. Globally, dengue is estimated to cost 9 billion USD annually in direct and indirect costs.5

Although dengue affects people from all ages and walks of life, the greatest number of dengue cases worldwide occurs in the highly mobile and social segment of the population that includes preadolescent to adult ages.6

 

About Sanofi Pasteur's dengue vaccine

Sanofi Pasteur’s vaccine is the culmination of over two decades of scientific innovation and collaboration, as well as 25 clinical studies in 15 countries around the world. Over 40,000 volunteers participated in the Sanofi Pasteur dengue vaccine clinical study program (phase I, II and III), of whom, 29,000 volunteers received the vaccine. Dengvaxia® successfully completed phase III clinical studies in 2014 to evaluate the primary objective of vaccine efficacy.7, 8

Long-term follow-up studies of the vaccine, recommended by WHO for all dengue vaccines in development, are currently ongoing. Additional pooled efficacy and integrated safety analyses from the 25-month Phase III efficacy studies and the ongoing long-term studies, respectively, were recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine reconfirming the vaccine’s consistent efficacy and longer-term safety profile in populations 9 years of age and older. In a pooled efficacy analysis in volunteers aged 9-16 who participated in the two Phase III 25-month efficacy studies, Dengvaxia® was shown to reduce dengue due to all four serotypes in two-thirds of the participants. Furthermore, this pooled efficacy analysis showed that Dengvaxia® prevented 9 out of 10 cases of severe dengue and 8 out 10 hospitalizations due to dengue in this age group.9

Dengvaxia® is the first vaccine licensed for the prevention of dengue in the world. First doses of the vaccine have been produced and full scale production capacity will be reaching 100 million vaccine doses annually.

Additional information about Sanofi Pasteur’s dengue vaccine is available on the web at http://www.dengue.info

 

About Sanofi

Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers a broad range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit:www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.us

 

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives, intentions and expectations with respect to future financial results, events, operations, services, product development and potential, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “plans” and similar expressions. Although Sanofi’s management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Sanofi, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including post marketing, decisions by regulatory authorities, such as the FDA or the EMA, regarding whether and when to approve any drug, device or biological application that may be filed for any such product candidates as well as their decisions regarding labelling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of such product candidates, the absence of guarantee that the product candidates if approved will be commercially successful, the future approval and commercial success of therapeutic alternatives, the Group’s ability to benefit from external growth opportunities, trends in exchange rates and prevailing interest rates, the impact of cost containment initiatives and subsequent changes thereto, the average number of shares outstanding as well as those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by Sanofi, including those listed under “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in Sanofi’s annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2014. Other than as required by applicable law, Sanofi does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.

 

Contacts:

Global Media Relations 
Alain Bernal 
T. +33-4-37-37-50-38 
alain.bernal@sanofipasteur.com
www.sanofipasteur.com

 

Investor Relations 
Sébastien Martel 
T. + 33 1 53 77 45 45 
ir@sanofi.com

 

Latin American Media Relations 
Eleonora Leone 
T. +52 55 39 93 48 47 
eleonora.leone@sanofipasteur.com
www.sanofipasteur.com.mx

 

References

1 Coudeville L, Baurin N. Potential impact of dengue vaccination: insights from the first large-scale efficacy trials. Poster presented at 64th ASTMH Annual Meeting - October 25-29, 2015, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Poster #3234. 
2 WHO Dengue and severe dengue fact sheet #117 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs117/en/ visited 10 August 2015 
3 Ibid. 
4http://www.who.int/csr/disease/dengue/impact/en/
5 Shepard DS, Halasa YA, Undurraga EA, Stanaway J. Global economic cost of dengue illness. Poster presented at: American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting; Oct. 25-29, 2015, Philadelphia, PA, Poster 781 
6 Egger JR, Paul G. Coleman. Age and Clinical Dengue Illness. Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 June; 13(6): 924–927. 
San Martin JL, Brathwaite O, Zambrano B, et al. The epidemiology of dengue in the americas over the last three decades:a worrisome reality. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2010;82:128-35
7 Capeding M.R. et.al, Clinical efficacy and safety of a novel tetravalent dengue vaccine in healthy children in Asia: a phase 3, randomised, observer-masked, placebo-controlled trial ; Volume 384, Issue 9951, 11–17 October 2014, Pages 1358–1365. 
8 Villar L, Dayan GH, Arredondo-Garcia JL, Rivera DM, Cunha R, Deseda C et al. Efficacy of a tetravalent dengue vaccine in children in Latin America. N Engl J Med. 2015. 
9 Hadinegoro, Sri Rezeki S., et al. Efficacy and Long-Term Safety of a Dengue Vaccine in Regions of Endemic Disease Integrated Analysis of Efficacy and Interim Long-Term Safety Data for a Dengue Vaccine in Endemic Regions. July 27, 2015DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1506223. 

 

View related file

11/17/2015

News Release

L-R: John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada Inc.; Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited; Russell Williams, President, Rx&D

 

 

Montreal, November 17, 2015 – On behalf of the Board of Directors of Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), President Russell Williams has conferred a Honourary Life Achievement designation to Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited for his service and leadership in the innovative pharmaceutical industry in Canada.

This designation recognizes Mr. Lievonen’ leadership, outstanding achievements in the pharmaceutical industry and unwavering dedication to sustainable healthcare in Canada, as an outward reflection of Rx&D’s spirit of innovation. The award was given at a ceremony at the Making Canada Better 2015 Conference.

 

Quick Facts

  • Mark Lievonen has been President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited for 17 years and has been appointed to the Order of Canada.
  • He is the Past Chair of Rx&D’s Board of Directors, Vice-Chair of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and serves on the Boards of the Public Policy Forum and BIOTECanada.
  • He holds a BBA in accounting and an MBA in finance and marketing from York University and has received an honourary doctorate of laws degree from York University.
  • He is the recipient of the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and has been named a Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Mérite by the government of France.

Quotes

“I’m grateful and tremendously proud, honored and humbled to receive this honour from Rx&D. It’s very gratifying to work in an industry that seeks to improve the quality of life for all Canadians. I’m fortunate to have worked with many inspiring individuals along the way – strong, passionate colleagues who share a like-minded approach to creating an innovative and sustainable healthcare system in Canada.” – Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited

“Mark Lievonen has dedicated his entire career to advancing Canada’s life sciences ecosystem and working to demonstrate the incredible value of vaccines to Canadian health and healthcare sustainability. This recognition speaks directly to his dedication and it is well deserved.” – Russell Williams, President, Rx&D

“The entire Board of Rx&D is proud to celebrate Mark Lievonen’s many achievements and bestow this honour upon him. Mark is a strong advocate for the life sciences sector and the pharmaceutical industry in Canada and has forged strong relationships with many different stakeholders. He is a role model in his approach to pursuing solutions to address the complex challenges of our healthcare system.” – John Helou, Chair, Rx&D Board of Directors and President, Pfizer Canada Inc.

– 30 –

For further information:

Sarah Douglas
Media Relations, Rx&D
Telephone: 613-883-7250
E-mail: sdouglas@canadapharma.org

About Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies

Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies is the national association representing the voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. We serve our membership by advocating for policies that enable the discovery, development and delivery of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our memberships’ commitment to being a valued partner in the Canadian healthcare system. We represent more than 50 companies investing over $1-billion in R&D annually, fuelling Canada’s knowledge-based economy, while contributing over $3-billion overall to Canada’s economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, we work with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

Image with caption: L-R: John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada Inc.; Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited; Russell Williams, President, Rx&D.
Photographer: Denis Drever

09/30/2015

- Sixty-one per cent of Canadians surveyed say the availability of an influenza vaccine covering four strains instead of three
would make them more likely to get vaccinated this flu season -

TORONTOSept. 30, 2015 - Public Health authorities in Canada are taking steps to enhance influenza vaccination programs this season by offering access to four-strain quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIV), an important measure to help prevent B-strain mismatch and reduce the impact of influenza in the population.  

For almost four decades, influenza vaccines have covered three strains. These vaccines, known as trivalent influenza vaccines, or TIV, have offered protection against two influenza A strains and one B strain.1 However, in the 1980s, the B virus split into two distinct lineages (B/Victoria and B/Yamagata), which now co-circulate worldwide.2,3 As a result, between 2001 and 2013, there has been a mismatch between the influenza B strain in the vaccine and the circulating B strain more than 50 per cent of the time (seven out of 12 seasons).4 QIV can help protect against four different influenza virus strains, including the two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains.  

"A mismatch occurs when the predicted influenza strains in the vaccine are different from those circulating in the community; these mismatches can cause unexpected health implications," said Dr. Wayne Ghesquiere, Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine Consultant, Vancouver Island Health Authority, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia. "The potential for a mismatch between the B lineages is the reason behind the development of QIV. QIV helps reduce the possibility of B strain mismatches, which could result in better health outcomes, helps enhance public confidence and potentially boost annual vaccine uptake."  

Influenza B is unpredictable with some seasons seeing infection rates as low as 0.8 per cent to as high as 67 per cent of all circulating influenza viruses in Canada.5,6 Approximately 15 to 25 per cent of influenza-related hospital admissions and deaths are attributable to influenza B virus strains.7

Despite universal influenza vaccination programs offered by most provinces, only 25 to 30 per cent of adults between 18 to 64 years of age get the influenza shot each year.8 According to a recent survey that looked at opinions among Canadians about influenza vaccination, 57 per cent of those surveyed did not get vaccinated during the 2014/2015 season. Of these, almost half (48 per cent) said that their primary reason was due to their belief that the influenza vaccine would not be effective. Interestingly, 61 per cent of Canadians surveyed say the availability of an influenza vaccine containing four strains instead of three would make them more likely to get vaccinated this season; this suggests that the availability of a vaccine covering more strains could increase immunization rates.9

"Children and adults living with chronic conditions like asthma are at high risk of severe illness and complications from influenza, and the annual influenza vaccination is our best defense," said Noah Farber, Acting President and CEO, Asthma Society of Canada. "Having greater access to advanced vaccines is an important step in helping reduce the burden of influenza and helping protect those who are most vulnerable. We need to ensure all Canadians have access to these vaccines, so we can help increase overall health for everyone."

Currently, publicly funded access to QIV varies by province. A full QIV annual universal influenza immunization program is currently accessible to the general population six months of age and older in ManitobaYukon Territory, and several Atlantic provinces. Individuals in Canada who are interested in QIV should inquire with their local Public Health authorities regarding vaccine availability in their respective province.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that QIV be used where available.10 It is quickly becoming the standard of care in the U.S. for individuals six months and older.

In Canada, there are three manufacturers offering quadrivalent vaccines this fall: Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca.

About Sanofi

Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris ((EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers a broad range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.us

References                                                                          

1Sanofi Pasteur Introduces 4-Strain Influenza Vaccine in Canada. Sanofi Pasteur. Accessed August 31, 2015. Available athttp://www.sanofipasteur.ca/node/43601.  

2Belshe, RB. The need for quadrivalent vaccine against seasonal influenza. Vaccine 2010.

3Sanofi Pasteur Introduces 4-Strain Influenza Vaccine in Canada. Sanofi Pasteur. Accessed August 31, 2015. Available athttp://www.sanofipasteur.ca/node/43601.

4An Advisory Committee Statement (ACS) National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) – Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2014-2015. National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) July 2014.

5Ibid.

62011-2012 FluWatch: August 12 to August 25, 2012 (Weeks 33 & 34). Public Health Agency of Canada. Accessed August 21, 2015. Available at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/fluwatch/11-12/w34_12/index-eng.php

7Literature Review on Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccines. National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) July 2014. AccessedAugust 31, 2015. Available at http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2014/aspc-phac/HP40-117-2014-eng.pdf.

8Influenza Immunization by Province. CANSIM. Statistics Canada. Accessed August 31, 2015. Available athttp://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&retrLang=eng&id=1050501&pattern=influenza&tabMode=dataTable&srchLan=-1&p1=1&p2=-1.  

9Flu Vaccines Survey, June 29-July 2, 2015. Leger, The Research Intelligence Group. Data on file.

10Influenza (Seasonal) Fact Sheet N°211 March 2014. World Health Organization. Accessed August 31, 2015. Available athttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/.

SOURCE Sanofi Pasteur

Image with caption: "Four-Strain Influenza Vaccine Available this Flu Season in Public Health Programs (CNW Group/Sanofi Pasteur)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150930_C6969_PHOTO_EN_509817.jpg

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Sanofi Pasteur, Nancy Simpson, Director, Communications, T. 416.667.2955, nancy.simpson@sanofipasteur.com

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