The Brazilian Government has signed an agreement with Sanofi Pasteur and the Butantan Institute for the production and supply of a vaccine against the A(H1N1) influenza virus.

This contract, announced during a state visit to Brazil by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, will provide for the initial supply of 18 million doses of the new A(H1N1) influenza virus vaccine, with one million doses in final presentation and 17 million doses in bulk form.

The agreement also includes an option where an additional 15 million doses could be made available should the World Health Organization request influenza manufacturers to switch production from the southern hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccine to the Pandemic A(H1N1) vaccine.

Sanofi Pasteur president and CEO Wayne Pisano said that the goal is to produce and deliver the pandemic vaccine as quickly as possible.

“We rely on our close collaboration with the Butantan Institute to produce and deliver the vaccine that will most effectively help respond to the public health threat caused by pandemic and seasonal influenza in Brazil,” Pisano said.

The vaccine antigen bulk will be manufactured in Sanofi Pasteur’s facility. The Butantan Institute will then carry out the A(H1N1) vaccine’s final formulation, filling and packaging in its Sao Paolo facility (Brazil).

The Butantan Institute will also be responsible for distributing the A(H1N1) influenza vaccine as directed by Brazilian health authorities.