Pharma majors Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have reached an agreement with the UK government for supplying up to 60 million doses of their jointly developed COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The agreement will be subject to a final contract issued by the British government.
The COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been developed by Sanofi in partnership with British pharma giant GSK. It is based on the recombinant protein-based technology used by the French pharma company to create an influenza vaccine and GSK’s pandemic adjuvant technology.
Roger Connor – President of GSK Vaccines said: “We believe that this adjuvanted vaccine candidate has the potential to play a significant role in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the UK and around the world. We thank the UK Government for confirmation of purchasing intent, which supports the significant investment we are already making as a company to scale up development and production of this vaccine.”
Sanofi is heading the clinical development and registration of the coronavirus vaccine candidate and is likely to begin a phase 1/2 study in September, followed by a phase 3 study by the end of this year.
Should the data from the clinical studies are positive, then regulatory approval can be secured by the first half of 2021, said Sanofi. Additionally, Sanofi and GSK are ramping up manufacturing of the antigen and adjuvant to manufacture up to a billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate per year.
Thomas Triomphe – Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur said: “With our partner GSK, we are pleased to cooperate with the UK government as well as several other countries and global organizations as part of our ongoing efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine and make it available as quickly as possible. We greatly appreciate the UK government’s support of this shared vision.”
Sanofi and GSK said that they are committed to making the COVID-19 vaccine candidate available across the world. In this regard, the two pharma majors are said to be in active talks about the supply of the vaccine with global organizations, the US and the European Union Commission, with France and Italy on the negotiation team.