Drug Manufacturer to Build New Plant in Pennsylvania

Work officially began on the construction of a new sanofi pasteur manufacturing facility that will expand the ability of the United States to produce influenza vaccine for both routine influenza immunization and in case of a global influenza pandemic.

sanofi pasteur is the vaccines business of the sanofi-aventis Group (SNY). Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell was joined by company executives, federal, state and local officials in breaking ground for sanofi pasteur's new 145,000 square-foot, $150 million manufacturing plant.

The new facility is expected to be completely online, validated and ready for production for the 2009 influenza season. The plant will replace an existing facility in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, and will double the site's capability for producing influenza vaccine. As a result of the project, it is expected that more than 100 new production jobs will be created at sanofi pasteur's U.S. headquarters in Swiftwater.

The construction of the new influenza vaccine plant is part of sanofi pasteur's continued commitment toward reliable planning and production of influenza vaccine, both in the U.S. and abroad. As part of these efforts, the company is participating in a number of important initiatives for pandemic planning, and was awarded 4 related contracts with the United States government, including a $97 million contract to accelerate the development of cell-culture technology for influenza vaccines.

The Swiftwater site, under various owners, has produced influenza vaccine for 58 years.

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