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US Government commits $2.1bn to GSK and Sanofi's COVID-19 vaccine candidate

Published on 31/07/20 at 12:39pm

The US Government has announced additional funding into Sanofi and GlaxSmithKline’s efforts to develop a recombinant protein-based vaccine to the value of $2.1 billion, as part of its Operation Warp Speed to identify, fund and deliver an effective COVID-19 vaccine from a range of promising candidates.

More than half of the value of the investment will be injected to help fund further development, while the remainder will be used to scale up manufacturing capacity in the US to ensure demand can be met in the event the candidate proves successful and safe in clinical trials.

This manufacturing expansion will aspire to generate and deliver an initial 100 million doses of the vaccine, with the US Government armed with the option as part of the partnership to procure another 500 million doses in future.

“The global need for a vaccine to help prevent COVID-19 is massive, and no single vaccine or company will be able to meet the global demand alone,” commented Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur. “From the beginning of the pandemic, Sanofi has leveraged its deep scientific expertise and resources to help address this crisis, collaborating with the US Department of Health and Human Services to unlock a rapid path toward developing a pandemic vaccine and manufacturing at large scale.”

The pharma firms will collaborate with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense to make these goals a reality.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar remarked: “The portfolio of vaccines being assembled for Operation Warp Speed increases the odds that we will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year. Today’s investment supports the Sanofi and GSK adjuvanted product all the way through clinical trials and manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people.”

The news follows on the heels of the UK Government’s announcement that it too had secured 60 million doses of one of GSK and Sanofi’s COVID-19 candidates. Sanofi is spearheading development, with a Phase 1/2 study scheduled to start in September.

Matt Fellows

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