The agreement, worth €30 million in licence fees and milestone payments for the Dutch firm, covers both pandemic and epidemic influenza vaccines, which up to now have been part of Crucell's in-house product development programme.
Aventis will receive an exclusive license to research, develop, manufacture and market cell-based influenza vaccines using PER.C6. Crucell said it expects to receive 'high single-, up to double-digit' royalties on future PER.C6-based influenza vaccine sales.
The biotech company has retained commercialisation rights for the vaccines in Japan, which accounts for 15 per cent of the global influenza vaccine market. In this country, Aventis will supply finished vaccine products to Crucell, and Crucell will pay a royalty on sales to Aventis.
Aventis is market leader in the production and marketing of flu vaccines, with an estimated 38 per cent share of the global market in 2002 from sales of €460 million.