Pharmaceutical industry: Sanofi and GSK receive billions from the USA for corona vaccine

With a billion dollar deal, the US government has secured possible corona vaccine doses. But the EU commission has also reserved vaccine doses from the pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

Researchers around the world are working flat out on the development of a vaccine against the novel corona virus Sars-CoV-2, and the two European pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have concluded a multi-billion dollar deal with the US government to further develop a potential corona vaccine. The US government will provide up to 2.1 billion US dollars (1.8 billion euros), more than half of which will be used for the development and clinical trials of the vaccine candidate, according to the French company Sanofi and its British competitor GlaxoSmithKline.

The remainder is to be used to expand the production facilities to initially supply 100 million vaccine doses. Sanofi will receive most of the money. The US government also has the option to purchase an additional 500 million vaccine doses over the longer term.

The USA had previously secured access to possible vaccines from other manufacturers. Sanofi and GSK had joined forces in April to research a corona vaccine and plan to begin broad clinical trials in September. If the results are good, it is conceivable “to apply for US approval in the first half of 2021”. The finished vaccine would then be available in the second half of the year.

The EU Commission has also reserved 300 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine from Sanofi. The EU Commission announced that a contract to supply all EU countries with the vaccine is about to be concluded. It did not make any statements about the purchase price.

The British company GSK, however, did not include the EU Commission in its announcement. According to Sanofi, the company is also conducting research in the course of other projects for the development and production of a vaccine against Covid-19. The French company refers to its website in particular to its cooperation with the US biotech company Translate Bio.

“We are in advanced talks with several other companies,” explained EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. She added that Europe is investing “in a diversified portfolio of promising vaccines based on different types of technologies”. Research on a vaccine against the coronavirus is being carried out worldwide, with the German companies BioNtech and Curevac being among those involved.

The two companies made it clear beforehand that discussions were also underway with other governments “to ensure worldwide access to a novel coronavirus vaccine”. They are working on significantly increasing production “to produce up to one billion doses per year worldwide”.

The EU claims to be committed to global research and the widest possible distribution of a future vaccine. That is why an international donor conference was held in early May to finance the search for a coronavirus vaccine. The USA did not attend and underlined its intention to develop and produce a vaccine on its own.

The German company BioNTech and the US company Pfizer are also working on a vaccine in a joint project. The German company announced on Wednesday that the US government had ordered corona vaccines worth 1.95 billion dollars from BioNTech and Pfizer.

The United States is by far the most severely affected country in the world by the pandemic. 4.6 million infections and over 150,000 deaths were recorded there. Over the weekend, it became known that the government in Washington also wants to increase its planned investment in the biotech company Moderna to almost one billion dollars.

Image source: https://bit.ly/2XeuHWJ

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