EU reserves 300 mn doses of potential Sanofi virus vaccine

Trump administration to provide up to $2.1 billion to Sanofi, GSK for vaccine production

The United States will pay $2.1 billion to Sanofi and GSK for the development and manufacture of a COVID-19 vaccine as part of 'Operation Warp Speed, ' the White House initiative to secure access to millions of doses.

Sanofi is leading the clinical development of the vaccine and expects to start a trial by the end of this year. If successful, USA regulatory approval is anticipated in the first half of 2021.

The companies have agreed to carry out fill-finish manufacturing in the that vaccine doses are packaged and ready to ship immediately if clinical trials are successful and FDA authorizes use.

The new deal works out nearly the same price per treatment as the 2 billion dollar award last week to Pfizer and BioNTech.

The potential vaccine is still in the preclinical trial phase of development, less far along than some of the other Operation Warp Speed candidates. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received about $618 million to develop an antibody drug and provide the US with thousands of doses, if the drug is authorized by regulators.

It marks the second contract for the Franco-British pair's vaccine candidate after they agreed earlier this week to supply 60 million doses to the British government. We are expecting more vaccines from the companies soon.

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A Commission spokesman said he could not comment on when a deal would be announced and the possible price for the vaccine, calling it a quite promising step towards an eventual agreement.

"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 of Sanofi Pasteur.

The remainder will be used to ramp up manufacturing, and deliver the finished product.

The commission said in a statement that it would have a contractual framework in place for the purchase of 300 million doses on behalf of all European Union member states once Sanofi's vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19.

Sanofi and GSK did not say how much of the federal money would go to each company - only that Sanofi would receive the most. "Sanofi will receive the majority of the USA government funding". The technology involved was originally used by Sanofi to create an influenza vaccine, and will now be supplemented by GSK's established pandemic adjuvant technology.

"We're committed to making any vaccine that is developed through this collaboration affordable and through mechanisms that offer fair access for all people", GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley said in April.

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