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TB Alliance Enters into Collaboration with sanofi-aventis to Fight Tuberculosis

Goal is to Accelerate Development of Drugs Against Tuberculosis

October 13, 2008

The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) and sanofi-aventis announced today that they have entered into a collaboration agreement to accelerate the discovery, development and clinical use of drugs against tuberculosis (TB). The TB Alliance is a not-for-profit, product development partnership, whose goal is the development of new TB drugs.

The announcement was made at the 39th World Conference on Lung Health, organized by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease in Paris, France.

This collaboration agreement with the TB Alliance has been created to address the significant need to develop new TB drugs that will shorten treatment and be effective against drug-susceptible and drug-resistant strains of TB.

Every year, more than 1.5 million people worldwide die from TB. Today's TB drugs are more than 40 years old and must be taken for six to nine months for drug-sensitive disease and up to 24 months for drug-resistant disease. Long, demanding treatment schedules prove too much for many patients and the resulting erratic or inconsistent treatment can result in drug resistance, treatment failure or death.

The TB Alliance, working with its public and private partners worldwide, is leading the development of the most comprehensive portfolio of TB drug candidates in history. It has two TB drug candidates in advanced clinical trials and 12 others in its pipeline.

Sanofi-aventis, which discovered rifampicin in the early 1960s, markets several anti-TB drugs. The company is also actively researching new therapeutic approaches for TB including new vaccines and drug candidates with new mechanisms of action.

Under the agreement, the two organizations will share information on their respective projects and exchange insights on developments in TB drug research. Additionally, they will consult with each other on relevant regulatory, access, and clinical trial capacity strategies related to developing countries. These activities may open new avenues of possible common development in the future.

"This collaboration with sanofi-aventis underscores the commitment of the TB Alliance to partner with leaders in science and business to achieve our goal of making faster, better and affordable TB drug regimens available as soon as possible," said Dr. Jerome Premmereur, president and CEO of the TB Alliance.

"Thanks to the TB Alliance's expertise in drug development, a partnership will allow both of us to make new drugs available faster," said Dr. Robert Sebbag, vice president, Access to Medicines, at sanofi-aventis. "Impact TB, the TB program within sanofi-aventis' Access to Medicines division, aims to provide new drugs at a price that is affordable for all patients, and this is a vision we share with the TB Alliance."

"Research and development at sanofi-aventis is firmly committed to the discovery of new medicines to combat TB," said Jean-Marc Herbert, senior vice president, Discovery Research at sanofi-aventis. "We are therefore delighted to have closer ties with the TB Alliance, which is recognized as a major driver in the discovery of new compounds in this field."