Sanofi has signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson company Janssen Pharmaceuticals for a potential first-in-class vaccine against extra-intestinal pathogenic E coli.

The partnership will develop and commercialise the vaccine candidate for E coli (9-valent) developed by Janssen, which is currently under assessment in a Phase III study.

The Phase III E.mbrace trial is designed to evaluate the efficacy of the 9-valent extraintestinal pathogenic E coli vaccine (ExPEC9V) against placebo in the prevention of invasive E coli disease caused by ExPEC9V O-serotypes.

Janssen began the study in 2021 and is continuing to enrol subjects.

The companies will co-fund the costs of present and future research and development activities.

Janssen will receive a $175m (€167.24m) upfront payment from Sanofi, and is also eligible to obtain development and commercial milestone payments.

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The parties will have a profit-share arrangement in the US, the UK and the EU4 (Germany, Italy, Spain and France).

Janssen will also receive tiered royalties and sales milestone payments in the rest of the world.

Sanofi Vaccines executive vice-president Thomas Triomphe stated: “In line with our commitment to design and deliver first or best-in-class medicines and vaccines, this agreement with Janssen aims to positively impact public health by reducing hospitalisation costs and the burden on health systems associated with ExPEC and help older adults around the world to live longer, healthier lives.”