Active Biotech concludes agreement with Aventis Pasteur
Active Biotech has started collaboration with Aventis Pasteur within the field of diarrhoea diseases.
Aventis Pasteur will assume responsibility for the marketing, sales and distribution of Active Biotech's drinkable cholera vaccine, SBL Cholera Vaccine for all countries worldwide outside USA and Europe. The product has received a recommendation from the World Health Organisation (WHO), as the only vaccine on the market with a documented effect against cholera.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection with dramatic effects, occurring primarily in Africa, Asia and South America. The disease is caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which produces a toxin that causes severe diarrhoea and usually vomiting. This rapidly leads to dehydration and death if no treatment is given. Cholera is spread via contaminated water and food. In 1999, approx. 200,000 cases of cholera were reported to the WHO, but the real figures are thought to be considerably higher.
The product included in the agreement also covers the indication against traveller's diarrhoea caused by the ETEC bacteria (enterotoxigenic E. coli). The ETEC bacteria cause 30-40% of all cases of traveller's diarrhoea.
Active Biotech is currently successfully marketing the product with this ETEC indication under the trademark Dukoral in Sweden and Norway. According to the agreement, Aventis Pasteur will apply for registration also for Dukoral against traveller's diarrhoea on various international markets.
Active Biotech will continue to sell the product for both indications in the Nordic countries through its own sales organisation. The estimated turnover this year in Sweden and Norway is approx. 45 Million SEK ( 5,3 Million Euros); a 100% increase compared with 1999. The total turnover, including export, is estimated to reach 80 Million SEK (9,5 Million Euros), for year 2000.
The agreement with Aventis Pasteur specifies that Active Biotech will produce the SBL Cholera Vaccine and Dukoral. Production will take place at Active Biotech's units in Stockholm and Matfors. Scaling up of the capacity is being made during 1999-2000.
Active Biotech holds a prominent position within the area of diarrhoea illnesses. Studies in this field began as early as in the 1970s in co-operation with Professors Ann-Mari Svennerholm and Jan Holmgren at Göteborg University. This research gave rise to the SBL Cholera Vaccine against cholera and the Dukoral travel vaccine against traveller's diarrhoea caused by ETEC infection.
A dry formulation in powder form is being developed to facilitate transport and access to SBL Cholera Vaccine in the developing countries.
"The agreement is important for Active Biotech's vaccine activities. The company gains access to Aventis Pasteur's extensive expertise in international registration, development and marketing of vaccines. At the same time, Active Biotech can fully utilise its production units," says Sven Andréasson, President & CEO of Active Biotech.
Lund 8 August 2000
Active Biotech AB (Publ)
President & CEO