Sanofi breaks ground on $477M vax plant

Sanofi-Aventis is still testing its new Dengue fever jab, but it's already broken ground on a massive new manufacturing plant in France that will churn out a huge supply of the vaccine.

Sanofi is investing $477 million--its most expensive single industrial project--in the new facility north of Lyon. And if it stays on schedule, the plant will be ready to start making the new vaccine in 2013. Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher (photo) says that the new vaccine, once approved, has clear potential for earning more than a billion euros a year.

"It's hard to give a precise estimate, but I wouldn't be investing 350 million euros if there wasn't a strong chance that this is the biggest vaccine ever," Viehbacher said. There are 50 million new Dengue fever infections every year.

- read the story from BusinessWeek