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Sanofi Pasteur, Xiamen University in flu vaccine cooperation


21:15, April 03, 2013

XIAMEN, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Sanofi Pasteur, the world's largest vaccines company, and China's prestigious Xiamen University have agreed to jointly research the development of a universal flu vaccine.

According to an agreement signed on Wednesday, Sanofi Pasteur will fund research on broad-spectrum neutralization monoclonal antibodies to treat the influenza virus, work which is already being carried out by the National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases (NIDVD) under Xiamen University.

It is hoped that the cooperation will prompt the development of a universal flu vaccine, a vaccine that doesn't require updating each year.

Zhu Chongshi, principal of Xiamen University, labeled the joint program a pioneering effort that will benefit mankind.

Sanofi Pasteur provided more than 200 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2012, accounting for about 40 percent of global market share.

Founded in 2005, the NIDVD is the only national institute of its kind in China. It aims to develop original and innovative diagnostic tests and vaccines, and to industrialize them through collaboration with academia, industry and the healthcare sector.

Influenza is a contagious virus that mainly spreads through coughing. About 250,000 to 500,000 people die from the virus each year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

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