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FDA Licenses First U.S. Vaccine for Humans Against Avian Influenza

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Avian influenza vaccine

Sanofi pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi-aventis Group, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has licensed its H5N1 vaccine, the first avian influenza vaccine for humans in the U.S. Sanofi pasteur, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, submitted a Biologics License Application to the FDA for this H5N1 vaccine.

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The licensure serves as a first key step in achieving the government's goal of stockpiling vaccine intended to protect those who are at increased risk of exposure to the H5N1 influenza virus contained in the vaccine during the early stages of a pandemic.

"The licensure of the nation's first vaccine is a significant milestone in pandemic preparedness," said David Williams, president, chairman and chief executive officer of sanofi pasteur. "As the leading manufacturer of influenza vaccine in the world and a longstanding, responsible member of the immunization community, we will play a key role in helping safeguard human health if an influenza pandemic strikes. We look forward to continuing to work with the U.S. government and others, to prepare for this crisis."

The licensure of this vaccine was based on a clinical trial conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. This trial evaluated the safety and ability to generate an immune response of this vaccine when administered in two 90