Sanofi and GSK have reached an agreement* with the UK government for the supply of up to 60 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Developed by Sanofi in partnership with GSK, the vaccine candidate is based on the recombinant protein-based technology used by Sanofi to produce an influenza vaccine, and GSK’s established pandemic adjuvant technology.
Sanofi is leading the clinical development and registration of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is expected that a Phase 1/2 study will start in September, followed by a Phase 3 study by the end of 2020.
According to the company, if the data are positive, regulatory approval could be achieved by the first half of 2021. Sanofi and GSK are simultaneously scaling up manufacturing of the antigen and adjuvant to produce up to one billion doses per year overall.
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 organisations as part of our ongoing efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine and make it available as quickly as possible.”
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.”
UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “It is important that we secure early access to a diverse range of promising vaccine candidates, like GSK and Sanofi, to increase our chances of finding one that works so we can protect the public and save lives.”
Kate Bingham, Chair of the UK Government’s Vaccines Taskforce, said: “Diversity of vaccine types is important because we do not yet know which, if any, of the different types of vaccine will prove to generate a safe and protective response to COVID-19. Whilst this agreement is very good news, we mustn’t be complacent or over optimistic.
“The fact remains we may never get a vaccine and if we do get one, we have to be prepared that it may not be a vaccine which prevents getting the virus, but rather one that reduces symptoms.”
*subject to final contract.