United Kingdom government and GSK/Sanofi sign COVID-19 vaccine supply deal

Sanofi, GSK to supply up to 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to UK

Last week, Britain struck deals for 30 million doses of an experimental BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, and a deal in principle for 60 million doses of Valneva's potential shot.

The new vaccine being developed by GSK and Sanofi is based on the DNA of the virus.

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".

The first people to get the vaccine will be frontline heath and social care workers, the elderly and the most vulnerable.

The world's largest vaccine maker also surprised the market with the announcement it did not receive any government funding to produce its efficacy booster technology, which is being used in many potential coronavirus vaccine collaborations, including one with France's Sanofi.

No vaccine has yet been approved for COVID-19 as the global race to find a vaccine continues.

Sanofi, who leads the clinical development and registration of the vaccine, expects it to enter phase 1/2 of the study in September and phase 3 by the end of the year.

A regulatory approval for the vaccine candidate is expected by the first-half of 2021, if data from clinical trials is positive, according to Sanofi.

The Government has stressed the importance of investing in a broad range of vaccines, to improve the chances of a successful outcome.

Kate Bingham, chair of the U.K.'s Vaccines Taskforce, said through the agreement with GSK and Sanofi, the Vaccine Taskforce can add another type of vaccine to the three different types of vaccine it has already secured.

"The government must urgently change tact and support the WHO COVID Technology Pool so we can speed up collaborative research and prevent the supply and affordability issues that arise from monopolies on medicines".

"We thank the Uk Authorities for confirmation of purchasing intent, which supports the major expenditure we are already producing as a corporation to scale up enhancement and generation of this vaccine".

"Whilst this agreement is very good news, we mustn't be complacent or over-optimistic".

According to the researchers, active discussions on the supply of the vaccine are ongoing with global organisations, the USA and the European Commission (EC).

JOEL SAGET/AFP A filling operator wearing a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), works in front of an isolator to fill syringes in a sterile area, at a French pharmaceutical company Sanofi's world distribution centre in Val-de-Reuil on July 10, 2020.

The four different vaccine classes that the United Kingdom government has secured to date for the United Kingdom are adenoviral vaccines (Oxford/AZ), mRNA vaccines (BioNTech/Pfizer & Imperial), inactivated whole virus vaccines (Valneva) and protein adjuvant vaccines (Agamemnon).

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