Sanofi Pasteur has announced an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with biotech company Syntiron to develop and commercialise a vaccine against the highly drug-resistant Staphylococcus bacteria.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi Pasteur will support the joint pre-clinical development of Syntiron’s candidate vaccine, and will take responsibility for all future developments, regulatory approval and commercialisation of the vaccine.

The agreement includes an undisclosed initial licensing fee, milestone payments, and royalty payments on future sales of the product.

Sanofi Pasteur president and CEO Wayne Pisano said that the successful development of a vaccine to prevent MRSA would be a major achievement in combating hospital-associated infections.

Staphylococcus bacteria, which include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, are responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections and are resistant to a large group of antibiotics, including penicillins.