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Six of our sites are dedicated to the research and development of our vaccines: Marcy-l'Étoile (near Lyon), France; Cambridge (Massachusetts), Orlando (Florida) and Swiftwater (Pennsylvania), US; Hyderabad, India, and Toronto, Canada.
R&D in the Vaccine Industry
Vaccine research must meet very specific requirements. Since vaccines are administered to healthy individuals, very often children, they must meet societal standards for safety and must be perceived as doing so by vaccines. R&D must also take into account regulatory requirements from national and international health authorities and differences in immunization schedules.
Clinical trials play an essential role in meeting these challenges.
They assess tolerance and optimum dosage and, ultimately, efficacy by means of large-scale studies among a broad population. Trials are organized into three clinical development phases before market authorization, that take place over 8-to-12 years.
Once a vaccine has been brought to market, pharmacovigilance, the ongoing assessment of safety profiles of products based on the collection of reports of adverse events, ensures there is a system for international monitoring. In addition to such monitoring, we conduct post-marketing studies that enable us to confirm the benefits of our products.
Our researchers develop new vaccines, both preventive and therapeutic, and work to improve the methods of administration.
Over the past decade, the progress in molecular biology has paved the way for approaches such as programming bacteria or cells to produce a vaccine or to acquire vaccine-like properties, and utilizing molecular techniques to identify protective immunogens.
Sanofi Pasteur also carries out the research in fundamental immunology to broaden the scientific basis of vaccination, and the research in epidemiology to know better where and when vaccines are the most necessary.