Deal values Shantha at roughly $783 million and bolsters sanofi’s presence in emerging markets.

Sanofi Pasteur is buying Mérieux Alliance’s French subsidiary ShanH, which owns a majority stake in vaccine company Shantha Biotechnics based in Hyderabad, India. The transaction, set to close before the end of the third quarter, values Shantha at €550 million, or $783.23 million.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis, will reportedly support Shantha’s ongoing development as a provider of high-quality, affordable vaccinations in international markets. Sanofi Pasteur expects sales of Shantha for the current fiscal year to be around $90 million.

“This evolution was rolled out respecting Shantha’s philosophy to provide developing countries with international quality level products at an accessible price,” states Alain Mérieux, chairman of Mérieux Alliance. “Shantha’s future development necessitates support from a major international vaccine company.

“During the last three years we have, together with Dr. Varaprasad Reddy, Shantha’s founder, significantly developed the company. We have in particular refocused its activity on vaccines and strengthened its range of products, especially by successfully launching a pentavalent pediatric vaccine as well as a cholera vaccine. We have built up a portfolio of new products that are today in development.” These include a rotavirus vaccine, a conjugated typhoid vaccine, and an HPV vaccine, Mérieux adds.

Sanofi Pasteur not only secures a stronger hold in the vaccine segment but also in emerging markets. Sanofi is not alone in this regard and follows Pfizer, which trying to obtain an increased stake in its own Indian subsidiary for $172.8 million, as well as inking deals with Aurobindo Pharma and Claris Lifesciences. Also Novartis is seeking to strengthen its hold in Novartis India with a $115.2 million offer. Additionally, GlaxoSmithKline bought a 16% share of South Africa-based Aspen Pharmacare.

Shantha was created in 1993 and works with organizations like UNICEF and PAHO to supply major international markets including Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Latin America. In 1997 Shantha launched ShanVac-B™, the first recombinant hepatitis B vaccine produced in India. ShanVac-B™, Shantetra™ (combination vaccine of diphteria, pertussis, tetanus, and hepatitis B), Shan5™ (combination vaccine of diphteria, pertussis, tetanus, hemophilus influenza B, and hepatitis B), and ShanTT™ (tetanus toxoid) are prequalified by the WHO for supply to United Nation agencies globally.

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