Sanofi is making a strategic move by investing $175 million in Johnson & Johnson’s late-phase E. coli vaccine, ExPEC9V. As J&J has shifted its focus away from vaccines, this collaboration allows Sanofi to leverage its commercial capabilities to support a promising product designed to prevent severe bloodstream infections.
ExPEC9V entered its phase 3 clinical trial in 2021, and despite changes within J&J’s vaccine division, the trial has been progressing towards its targeted primary completion date in May 2025. Sanofi is stepping in to bolster this program by providing upfront funding, co-funding ongoing and future research and development costs, and securing commercialization rights. The agreement also includes potential development and commercial milestones, the details of which remain undisclosed.
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Under the terms of the collaboration, both companies will share profits in select countries, including the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Outside of these territories, Sanofi will compensate J&J through tiered royalties and sales milestones. Sanofi views this partnership as an opportunity to leverage its global manufacturing capabilities and expertise in vaccine launches to advance the E. coli vaccine candidate.
The E. coli vaccine, which is designed to prevent invasive extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli disease, addresses a significant health concern, particularly among older adults. The phase 3 trial is enrolling individuals aged 60 and older with a history of urinary tract infections to evaluate the vaccine’s effectiveness.
This disease is a leading bacterial cause of sepsis, a condition that contributes to the mortality rate among seniors and places a substantial burden on healthcare systems. Moreover, the vaccine has the potential to reduce the overuse of antibiotics, which has become a pressing issue due to the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Sanofi’s strategic investment underscores its commitment to addressing critical healthcare challenges and improving the well-being of older adults by supporting innovative vaccine solutions.