Hyderabad: Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of French drug maker Sanofi, on Friday said it has launched ShanIPV, an injectable inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), in the Indian market.
ShanIPV provides protection against three strains of the virus and will be manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur’s affiliate Shantha Biotechnics Pvt. Ltd in Hyderabad through a transfer of technology.
Sanofi markets similar trivalent IPV vaccine in Indian market under the brand Imovax Polio.
Both Imovax Polio from Sanofi Pasteur and ShanIPV from Shantha will be delivered to India through Unicef, Sanofi said.
ShanIPV is provided to Unicef under the terms of the award announced in February 2014 at ₹ 54-55 per dose, the same price as Sanofi’s Imovax Polio vaccine.
ShanIPV, approved for use in India, will be exported to other countries in later stages, the company said.
“As other countries look to introduce IPV in their immunization programmes, we will do our best to support this worldwide switch," Sanofi said.
India introduced IPV in the mandatory immunization programme on 1 December. In the first phase, the injection will be introduced in six states that include Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.
Both Sanofi Pasteur and Shantha will provide the majority of vaccine doses needed for the introduction by the end of 2016.
IPV contains inactivated virus, considered to be much safer than oral polio vaccine (OPV) that contains live virus.
In line with the World Health Organization’s global endgame strategy on polio eradication, India is introducing one dose of IPV at 14 weeks of age. IPV is to be given in addition to the existing oral polio vaccine.
India was certified polio-free on 27 March 2014, but the immunization programme continues in the country since two of its neighbours Pakistan and Afghanistan remain polio-endemic and due to the threat of vaccine-derived polio.