Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline pledge COVID-19 vaccines for global use

Sanofi GSK to supply 200m vaccine doses to WHO-backed alliance

Sanofi GSK to supply 200m vaccine doses to WHO-backed alliance

The companies have signed a Statement of Intent with Gavi to supply the vaccine to the Covax Facility - a global risk-sharing mechanism created to equitably distribute eventual Covid-19 vaccines.

French drugmaker Sanofi and Britain's GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will supply 200 million doses of their COVID-19 candidate vaccine to a global initiative to ensure equitable distribution backed by the World Health Organization. Both companies intend to contribute to COVAX's ambition to ensure successful Covid-19 vaccines reach those in need, whoever they are and wherever they live, once the appropriate approvals are obtained. The companies expect the first results in December and are aiming to initiate a Phase 3 study before the end of the year.

The head of Sanofi's vaccine unit stressed the importance of the partnership amid a pandemic of a global scale.

The money will be provided to the COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) to procure vaccines through pre-purchase contracts with manufacturers and distribute them to the relatively more vulnerable regions, the ministry said in a release.

"Since we started working on COVID-19 vaccines, GSK has been committed to making these people available around the world", said Roger Connor, president of GSK Vaccines, in a statement.

Covax aims to deliver 2 billion vaccine doses around the world by the end of 2021, and more than 180 nations have joined the plan.

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For the pharmaceutical industry as a whole, the effects of COVID-19 on vaccine behavior have at times been erratic and hard to predict. Pfizer PFE.N, for example, said on Tuesday that while many people missed injections of its best-selling Prevnar 13 (pneumonia-causing bacteria) vaccine in the second trimester, there was a catching-up trend in the third trimester.

Covax was launched in April as one of three pillars of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. In parallel, the Companies are scaling up manufacturing of the antigen and adjuvant respectively.

Sanofi and GSK signed a $2.1 billion deal with Washington during the summer to supply it with more than 100 million doses of the same vaccine, which they hope to present for regulatory approval next year.

"We are proud to be working with Sanofi to make this adjuvanted recombinant protein-based vaccine available to the countries signed up to the Covax Facility as soon as possible - this has the potential to be a significant contribution to the global fight against Covid-19".

Clinical trials for this project are expected to start in the fourth quarter.

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