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Active Biotech receives major new order for SBL Cholera Vaccine worth MSEK 11.5

2000-10-25

The authorities on the French island of Mayotte have decided that the entire population should be vaccinated against cholera. The French Ministry of Health has placed an order for immediate delivery of SBL Cholera Vaccine worth MSEK 11.5.

The island of Mayotte is one of the Comoran isles off the east coast of Africa, with approximately 125,000 permanent residents. The risk of a cholera epidemic breaking out on the island increases with the onset of the rainy season early in the new year. The authorities in Mayotte therefore want the inhabitants to be vaccinated before then. As 98% of the population are Muslim, oral vaccines must be taken before the end of November/start of December when the month of Ramadan begins, during which fasting is observed.

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 bacterium, which produces a toxin that causes severe diarrhoea and usually vomiting. This can rapidly lead to death if no treatment is given. Cholera is spread via contaminated water and food. In 1999, approximately 200,000 cases of cholera were reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO), although actual figures are thought to be considerably higher.

Active Biotech's drinkable cholera vaccine, SBL Cholera Vaccine, has been recommended by WHO as the only vaccine on the market with a documented effect against cholera.

SBL Cholera Vaccine is produced by Active Biotech in Sweden and is being launched internationally in collaboration with the vaccine company Aventis Pasteur.

Following rapid efforts by Active Biotech, a part delivery has been made in October. The remainder will be supplied within the next few weeks.

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