Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi-aventis Group, has entered into a strategic partnership with the US Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) to develop a new bacterial vaccine against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC).

Sanofi Pasteur said that the core ETEC adhesin vaccine technology, developed by NMRC, was exclusively licensed to it, along with a second technology that efficiently packages the adhesin with a toxoid vaccine component, co-developed by NMRC and the University of Colorado Denver.

The cooperative research and development agreement was executed between Sanofi Pasteur and NMRC, inaugurating a joint research effort to be conducted over the next four years.

As per the agreement, if the four-year pre-clinical research effort proves successful it is expected to serve as the basis for launching the full-scale clinical development of a multivalent adhesin-based ETEC vaccine.

Sanofi Pasteur CEO and president Wayne Pisano said the multi-year project will provide a solid basis for launching clinical development.

“We believe that this vaccine has the potential to curtail the number and severity of food borne illnesses due to ETEC, and it may also decrease the risk of post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome, which afflicts one in ten who experience travellers’ diarrhoea,” Pisano said.