Sanofi Pasteur has entered into a license and supply agreement with Eisai for the use of their novel adjuvant designed to boost the immune response to a broad range of vaccines.
The demand for novel vaccine technologies such as this is increasing worldwide, most recently in light of an anticipated bird flu pandemic.
E6020 is a TLR-4 (Toll-like receptor-4) agonist that stimulates the host's natural immunity. It can be incorporated into various vaccines and is expected to enhance their effectiveness.
Under the terms of the agreement, >Eisai will provide a license to Sanofi Pasteur to non-exclusively use E6020 worldwide as an adjuvant for vaccines to develop products based on the compound
In return Eisai will receive upfront payments, milestone payments, and royalty payments on product sales. >Sanofi Pasteur will commercialise the adjuvanted vaccines developed in this collaboration.
An adjuvant is a substance that is used in addition to vaccines to enhance their immune response. When given in combination with an antigen, the adjuvant increases antibody production and initiates and directs the host immune response.
TLR is a receptor that carries the host's natural immunity, and recognises causal agents such as bacteria. There are more than 10 types of TLR that have been reported to date.
The Sanofi-Aventis Group is the world's third-largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe. Sanofi Pasteur is the vaccines business of the Sanofi-Aventis Group and sold nearly a billion doses of vaccine in 2004.
Based in New Jersey, Eisai is a US pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co. and had sales of approximately $2 billion in fiscal year 2004.