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  • UK Government Agreement on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply

UK Government Agreement on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply

Jul 29 2020 Read 250 Times

The UK Government has reached an agreement with Sanofi and GSK, subject to final contract, for the supply of up to 60 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine based on the recombinant protein-based technology used by Sanofi to produce an influenza vaccine and GSK’s established pandemic adjuvant technology.

“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. We greatly appreciate the UK government’s support of this shared vision,” said Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur.

Roger Connor, President of GSK Vaccines added, "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.  We thank the UK Government for confirmation of purchasing intent, which supports the significant investment we are already making as a company to scale up development and production of this vaccine.”

Sanofi is leading the clinical development and registration of the COVID-19 vaccine and expects a Phase 1/2 study to start in September, followed by a Phase 3 study by the end of 2020.  If the data are positive, regulatory approval could be achieved by the first half of 2021.  In parallel, Sanofi and GSK are scaling up manufacturing of the antigen and adjuvant to produce up to one billion doses per year overall.

Kate Bingham, Chair of the UK Government’s Vaccines Taskforce, said: “Through this agreement with GSK and Sanofi, the Vaccine Taskforce can add another type of vaccine to the three different types of vaccine we have already secured.  

“This 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.” 

Active discussions on supply of the vaccine are ongoing with global organizations, the U.S. and the EU Commission, with France and Italy on the negotiation team. The partners  plan to provide a significant portion of total worldwide available supply capacity in 2021/22 to the global initiative, “Access to COVID‐19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator”, a global collaboration of leaders of governments, global health organizations, businesses and philanthropies to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

Sanofi is also developing a messenger RNA vaccine candidate in partnership with Translate Bio. With several innovative vaccine platforms currently being investigated across the industry, mRNA is considered among the most promising. Sanofi expects a Phase 1 study to start by the end of the year, and, if the data are positive, an approval at the earliest in the second half of 2021​. Translate Bio has established mRNA manufacturing capacity and Sanofi expects to be able to supply annual capacity of 90 to 360 million doses.

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