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SWIFTWATER, PA-As Lyon, France-based Sanofi Pasteur anticipates a late 2008, early 2009 opening of a new 140,000-sf influenza vaccine facility here it also has been awarded a $77.4-million contract by the US Department of Health and Human Services to retrofit its existing flu vaccine facility at this site. The total cost of both projects is estimated at $252.4 million.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority provided Pocono Township with a $5-million grant from its PennWorks program for sewer improvements along the Route 611 corridor to serve the company’s site on Discovery Drive. A Sanofi Pasteur spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com the cost of constructing the new facility is $150 million. “The facility is now beginning the process of obtaining FDA licensing,” she says.

The design phase of the retrofit has begun, and Sanofi Pasteur will add approximately $25 million to the HHS grant. Once the new building is licensed by the FDA and operational, the existing facility will be phased out and decommissioned for the retrofit. The design, retrofit and maintenance of the facilities will place them in a state of readiness so the company can switch to pandemic influenza vaccine manufacture at HHS’s request.

The existing plant has produced approximately 50 million doses of vaccine for the US market during the past several influenza seasons. When both facilities here are validated, capacity will be approximately triple current output. Sanofi Pasteur is the vaccines division of the Sanofi-Aventis Group.

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