Sanofi launches trial of revolutionary flu vaccine

Sanofi-Aventis has launched a mid-stage study of a new seasonal flu vaccine that hopes to advance a completely new method to make vaccines. The vaccine is made from cell cultures as opposed to the traditional egg-based approach. This experimental vaccine uses a cell line--PER.C6--licensed from Crucell. Sanofi-Aventis' closely-watched development program is expected to short circuit the slow, crude manufacturing process now in place and help revolutionize the whole vaccine business.

"This project is part of a contract awarded in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aimed at accelerating the development of a new cell culture-based influenza vaccine," Sanofi-Aventis said in a statement.

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