Vaccines for tomorrow

The scope of Sanofi Pasteur’s Research & Development activities is vast and complex, encompassing the entire chain of events before a new vaccine becomes available – from understanding a disease and its biological foundations, to clinical development and testing, to obtaining health authorities’ approval for marketing the new vaccine.

We have currently 16 vaccines in development(1) or submitted for approval to meet the specific needs of different segments of the population (influenza, vaccines combination, etc.) or unmet medical needs (dengue, healthcare–associated infections, etc.).


Sanofi Pasteur R&D Portfolio

Published: July 31, 2017

(1): approved in 18 countries

(2): also known as MEDI8897

Healthcare-associated infections

Healthcare-associated infections are a major concern for public health in many industrialized countries and cause significant annual costs to the healthcare systems.

Clostridium difficile

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a potentially life-threatening, spore-forming bacterium that causes intestinal disease. 

The risk of contracting CDI increases with age, antibiotic treatment and time spent in hospitals or nursing homes, where multiple cases can lead to outbreaks. A main source of C. diff is infected patients who release spores into the environment that can then infect other people. When antibiotics disrupt the gut’s normal flora and a person has ingested C. diff spores, the C. diff bacteria multiply and release potent toxins that can damage a person’s intestinal lining and cause C. diff disease.

Our investigational vaccine is designed to help protect at-risk individuals from C. diff infection, which is emerging as a leading cause of life-threatening, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) worldwide. (i) 

Sanofi Pasteur's candidate vaccine against Clostridium difficile takes a toxoid-based approach, which has been used extensively in Sanofi Pasteur's licensed vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). In August 2013, the company initiated a Phase III clinical program called Cdiffense to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of its investigational vaccine for the prevention of primary symptomatic Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). The Cdiffense Phase III clinical program will include approximately 15,000 adults at more than 200 sites across 25 countries. A Phase II study of the vaccine against Clostridium difficile was done in the United States. The U.S. FDA has granted fast-track designation to Sanofi Pasteur's investigational Clostridium difficile vaccine.

See the Focus on Clostridium difficile

(i) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frequently Asked Questions about Clostridium difficile for Healthcare Providers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last Updated March 6, 2013. Accessed June 2017.


What is Clostridium difficile?


Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Sanofi Pasteur signed an agreement with MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, on March 2, 2017, to develop and commercialize a monoclonal antibody--called MEDI8897--for the prevention of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) associated illness in newborns and infants.

In addition, Sanofi Pasteur is collaborating with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the NIH to further advance attenuated RSV candidate vaccines for the prevention of RSV disease in infants and young children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RSV is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States and worldwide*.  There are no specific treatments for RSV and there is no vaccine. Current therapies are focused on alleviating the symptoms of the infection.