The US Government has committed to providing up to $2.1bn to Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for development, manufacturing, scale-up and delivery of an initial 100 million doses of the companies’ Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

Based on Sanofi’s recombinant protein technology, the vaccine candidate utilises GSK’s pandemic adjuvant technology. A Phase I/II clinical trial of the product is expected to begin in September, with a Phase III study being planned for the end of the year.

This partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense is expected to fund the development and scale-up of the companies’ individual manufacturing capabilities in the US.

Sanofi Pasteur executive vice-president and global head Thomas Triomphe said: “The global need for a vaccine to help prevent Covid-19 is massive, and no single vaccine or company will be able to meet the global demand alone.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, Sanofi has leveraged its deep scientific expertise and resources to help address this crisis, collaborating with the HHS to unlock a rapid path toward developing a pandemic vaccine and manufacturing at large scale.”

Sanofi will get the majority of the funding. The government also holds an option for the long-term supply of an additional 500 million doses.

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By GlobalData

The collaboration is part of the US Government’s Operation Warp Speed programme.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said: “The portfolio of vaccines being assembled for Operation Warp Speed increases the odds that we will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year.

“Today’s investment supports the Sanofi and GSK adjuvanted product all the way through clinical trials and manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people.”

This collaboration comes soon after Sanofi and GSK signed an agreement with the UK Government to supply up to 60 million doses of the potential Covid-19 vaccine.