SK Chemicals Co., a South Korean vaccine maker, signed $155 million deal to license cell culture technology to Sanofi Pasteur Inc. for development of a universal influenza vaccine.
The company said in a regulatory filing that it will provide Sanofi Pasteur, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, with the technology needed to produce highly efficient influenza vaccines.
Universal vaccines are the next-generation of influenza vaccines, designed to protect against many strains of the virus over several years by targeting the common sequences many flu viruses share. The key advantage will be broader coverage against several seasonal flu strains, according to Sanofi.
SK Chemicals has commercialized both trivalent and quadrivalent cell culture-based influenza vaccines since 2015. The cell-based approach in future broadly protective vaccines could potentially speed manufacturing processes and increase production yields, according to Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi.