Sanofi faces make-or-break verdict on big dengue vaccine bet
* Final Phase III results due by late September
* Sanofi hopes to deliver first doses in late 2015
* Sanofi has spent over 1.3 bln euros on project
* Sales could top 1 bln euros but project is risky -analysts
By Natalie Huet and Noëlle Mennella
NEUVILLE-SUR-SAONE, France, March 25 (Reuters) - Sanofi expects final clinical results for its vaccine against dengue by late September, the French drugmaker's project leader has told Reuters, and has already gambled on starting production despite some disappointing early trials data.
Sanofi has invested more than one billion euros in the project and is hoping to become the first drugmaker to sell such a shot next year after two decades of research on the world's fastest-growing tropical disease, for which there is no preventative treatment.
Sanofi Pasteur, the French drugmaker's vaccine unit, has made a big industrial bet: it started producing the vaccine last July to keep a lead over competitors and ensure it is ready to ship doses, assuming it finally gets approved by regulators.
The investment highlights the time-consuming and capital-intensive nature of the vaccines business. Continuación...