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Sanofi Pasteur Says Investigational HIV Vaccine Regimen Lowered HIV Infection Rate In Study - Update

Thursday, Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the Sanofi-Aventis Group (SNY), said that a late-stage study demonstrated that an an investigational HIV vaccine regimen was safe and modestly effective in preventing HIV infection.

The collaborative HIV vaccine trial has been conducted in Thailand over the past six years involving more than 16,000 adult volunteers.

According to the Paris, France based company, the final results of the trial were released today by the trial sponsor - the U.S. Army Surgeon General via the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity.

According to the results, the prime-boost combination of ALVAC HIV and AIDSVAX B/E vaccines lowered the rate of HIV infection by 31.2% among the 16,000 volunteers, compared with placebo. The prime vaccine used in the trial, ALVAC HIV was developed by Sanofi Pasteur, while the booster vaccine AIDSVAX B/E, was developed by San Francisco-based VaxGen.

"Albeit modest, the reduction of risk of HIV infection is statistically significant. This is the first concrete evidence, since the discovery of the virus in 1983, that a vaccine against HIV is eventually feasible," said Michel DeWilde, R&D senior vice president for Sanofi Pasteur. "Further work is required to develop and test a vaccine suitable for licensure and worldwide use."

The HIV vaccine trial was executed by the Thai Ministry of Public Health and included a team of leading Thai and U.S. researchers. The U.S. Government, specifically the Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases or NIAID, National Institutes of Health or NIH and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Department of Defense funded this clinical trial.

SNY closed Wednesday's last trade on the New York Stock Exchange at $37.21.

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