Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi, opened a new vaccine research and development centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in July 2011. The R&D facility is located at Sanofi Pasteur’s Connaught Campus and will focus mainly on the development of vaccines for cancer and paediatric ailments. It was established with an investment of $101m.
Sanofi Pasteur produces nearly one billion doses of vaccines per annum for about 20 infectious diseases. It is also developing vaccines targeting chlamydia, tuberculosis and pneumococcal.
Global demand for existing and new vaccines is forecast to double by 2016, necessitating the R&D facility development.
Sanofi Pasteur’s Connaught Campus in Toronto is the company’s headquarters for Canadian vaccine activities. The 54-acre campus accommodates about 40 buildings and a working space of one million square feet.
The site employs about 1,100 people, of which 700 are involved in advanced manufacturing and 300 in R&D.
Sanofi Pasteur produces tetanus, polio, diphtheria, pertussis and BCG vaccines from the Connaught Campus. It accounts for about 20% of the company’s global vaccine sales and is the only producer of five-component acellular pertussis combination vaccines in the world. It includes facilities to reserve paediatric vaccines for domestic markets.
The Connaught Campus also provides filling and packaging of influenza vaccines. About 95% of its production is exported to more than 90 countries, including major US and European markets. Sanofi has invested about $600m in the campus since 2000.
Construction of the new R&D facility has established the campus as Sanofi Pasteur’s North American Centre of Excellence for analytical and bio-processing research and development.
The proximity of the R&D centre to the manufacturing site locations will also aid commercial production of newly developed vaccines.
The new 145,000ft² facility is also called Building 95. Three floors of the four-floor building are occupied by research laboratories and offices.
The facility consolidates the research activities of Sanofi Pasteur under one roof. It brought together state-of-the-art technologies and 300 researchers, scientists and skilled technicians.
The facility is designed to enhance the security and comfort of the employees working in the labs.
The R&D laboratories at the facility are available for tissue culture, microbiology clinical cell culture and vet culture. Elisa and radioisotope labs are also part of the facility.
The mechanical rooms are located in the basement and penthouse. The labs are supported by special piping systems for clean steam, carbon dioxide, vacuum, compressed air and RO water.
The facility will serve R&D of bio-processing to develop and test viral, culturing bacterial and cell line products; optimise purification processes; and improve product stability. It will also provide batches for development and clinical trials.
The analytical R&D facilities will support development and validation of testing methods. It will also enable development and testing of vaccine batches produced for clinical trials.
Data collected on the efficacy and safety of vaccines from stability and release tests will be included in the regulatory filings. The results will support licensing and marketing of the final vaccines.
Building 95 incorporates several environmentally friendly features to reduce consumption of power and water.
They include energy efficient building façade, installation of occupancy sensors, efficient water fixtures and lighting systems, a heat reclamation system and rainwater recycling for irrigation. These features are expected to provide power savings of 743MWh/y, mechanical savings of 3290MWh/y and about 857,000kg/y reduction in CO2 emissions.
The project is aiming at the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System certification.
Construction work on the R&D facility started in April 2008 and was completed in 2010. The facility was designed by G&G Partnership Architects.
Vanbots Construction Corporation was the general contractor and was responsible for project management. Banerjee & Associates was the structural engineer. Crossey Engineering was the mechanical and electrical consultant engineer.
The Ontario province provided $13.9m towards the development of the facility. The funds were contributed as part of the Next Generation of Jobs Fund, a Biopharmaceutical Investment Program (BIP). The project will enable future jobs to be secured in Ontario.
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