Sanofi to invest $6B in vaccine production

The growing wealth seen in developing nations is spurring a big increase in the worldwide demand for vaccines, and Sanofi-Aventis says it will invest more than $6 billion over the next eight years in order to meet the projected demand. Wayne Pisano, who heads Sanofi's vaccine division, estimated that total vaccine sales for the company will double to $34 billion by 2016. That growth will come in countries like India and China, where larger incomes are driving the demand for new flu and pediatric vaccines.

For years the low cost of vaccines made the sector a low-key player in biopharma. Now the relatively low cost of a vaccination and the significant health benefits that can be achieved from a major vaccination program have prompted more countries to step up their work in the field, making vaccines one of the hottest sectors in the industry.

"We have a number of diseases where there is not enough capacity today, where there is demand and there's not enough supply," Pisano told reporters.

- read the Wall Street Journal story