Sanofi, GSK nab $2.1B deal from federal government to provide Covid-19 vaccine

Sanofi, GSK nab $2.1B deal from federal government to provide Covid-19 vaccine

Two European drug companies have secured a hefty sum from a federal government program to provide 100 million doses of a vaccine to prevent Covid-19.
Paris-based Sanofi and London-based GlaxoSmithKline said Friday that under Operation Warp Speed, the government will provide up to $2.1 billion for development – which includes clinical trials, scale-up of manufacturing and delivery – the initial supply of vaccines. The two companies developed the vaccine using the recombinant protein-based technology that Sanofi used to produce an influenza vaccine, along with pandemic adjuvant technology from GSK.
The company plans to start a Phase I/II study in September and a Phase III study by the end of the year, with the potential for the companies to seek regulatory approval in the first half of 2021.
Shares of Sanofi were up by about 1% on the Euronext Paris exchange, while shares of GSK were up more than 1.5% on the London Stock Exchange.
“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,” said Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president at Sanofi, in a statement. “From the beginning of the pandemic, Sanofi has leveraged its deep scientific expertise and resources to help address this crisis, collaborating with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to unlock a rapid path toward developing a pandemic vaccine and manufacturing at large scale.”
The announcement came shortly after Pfizer and BioNTech signed a similar contract with the federal government, for $1.95 billion, to supply 100 million doses of their vaccine. On Tuesday, the companies said they had started a Phase II/III trial of their vaccine, BNT162b2. The day before, Moderna said that it had started the Phase III study of its vaccine, mRNA-1273, shortly after securing $472 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Both of the vaccines are based on messenger RNA technology. Other vaccines in Phase III development include those of Sinovac, a Chinese firm, as well as AZD1222, developed jointly by British drugmaker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
Photo: Esben_H, Getty Images

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