Britain secures 60mn COVID vaccines from Sanofi and GSK

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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One of the early contenders of an effective COVID-19 vaccine, Sanofi and GSK, has reached in a deal to supply 60 million doses of its potential vaccine to the British government. 

The Duo (Sanofi and GSK) which had first teamed up in April confirmed that regulatory approval for their vaccine could be achieved by the first half of 2021 if clinical data was to be positive. Financial terms of the agreement with Britain were not disclosed.

The first clinical trials of the potential vaccine which will be developed by combining Sanofi’s S-protein COVID-19 antigen and GSK’s pandemic adjuvant technology is expected to be carried out in September.

Adjuvants are efficacy boosters that play an important role in many vaccines. An adjuvant is added to some vaccines to improve the immune response and has been shown to create a stronger and longer-lasting immunity against infections than a vaccine alone.

Reports suggest that Sanofi and GSK is also discussions with the European Union, Italy and France to supply their vaccine. The Duo is hoping to secure a deal soon to offer 300 million doses to the European Union. An agreement between the parties had stalled earlier when the vaccine maker wanted an upfront payment for the entire stock while the EU was interested in delaying the payments until the vaccine had passed large clinical trials.