Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

Sanofi plans €610m vaccines investment to raise pandemic readiness

Funds will be split between a production unit and a new vaccine development centre

Sanofi reception

Sanofi has said it will build a new vaccine manufacturing facility site and research facility in France, to beef up its ability to respond to future pandemics.

The investment totals around €610m (around $68m), and is split between €490m over five years for a production unit called the Evolutive Vaccine facility (EVF) at Neuville sur Saône that will create 200 new jobs, and €120m for a new vaccine development centre in Marcy-l'Etoile.

Sanofi says the EVF will feature several “digital” production modules that will mean it can make three or four vaccines at a time, whereas current facilities are generally able to make only one.

That will help the company prioritise production of its current vaccines depending on need, and also turn the facility over to an emerging threat such as the coronavirus pandemic if required.

The investment comes as Sanofi and other companies around the world are racing to develop and produce vaccines that may help fight COVID-19, which has affected more than eight million people worldwide and claimed almost 450,000 lives.

The French drugmaker’s Sanofi Pasteur vaccines division has partnerships in place with GlaxoSmithKline and Translate Bio on two main vaccine candidates.

That includes a recombinant protein sub-unit produced in a baculovirus system, which has backing from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), that will use adjuvant provided by GSK, and an mRNA-based candidate licensed from Translate.

Both are still in preclinical development, and notably were omitted from the Trump administrations’ short-list of leading vaccine candidates that could potentially be ready for roll-out later this year or early in 2021.

The short list in Trump’s Operation Warp Speed includes vaccines from Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Oxford University and AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Merck & Co.

The US government says it will build manufacturing capacity for three to five selected candidates that are still in development, to ensure they are ready as quickly as possible.

The exclusion of Sanofi from the list, despite its long heritage in vaccine development – and the heavyweight alliance with GSK, another vaccine giant – sparked speculation that this could stem from some controversial comments made by Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson last month.

Hudson told Bloomberg that the US would probably be the first country to receive its vaccine, given that it had quickly stepped up to help fund research, but that sparked an outcry in France and he eventually backtracked on that position.

This week, AZ chief executive Pascal Soriot told Belgian broadcaster RTL that its adenovirus-based vaccine AZD1222 – now in phase 2/3 testing – would provide protection for “about a year”.

The comments suggest there is already evidence that the vaccine works, but also that repeated dosing may be needed to maintain protection. What the basis is for the comment isn’t clear, however, as data from the ongoing trial isn’t expected until August or September.

Article by
Phil Taylor

18th June 2020

From: Research

Share

Tags

COVID-19 Updates and Daily News

Featured jobs

PMHub

Add my company
Say Communications

Influencing positive behaviours and delivering change is what drives us, using thought leadership, education, social and professional engagement and compelling,...

Latest intelligence

The search for treatments for Parkinson’s disease
The research requires resilience but pharma is urged to ‘keep innovating, keep trying’...
Margot Hannah, OPEN Health - A personal perspective of LGBT+ and diversity.
Ditch the Label – it’s just me....
The impact of COVID-19 on clinical trials
As all industry sectors work to assess both the impact and the optimal path forward, the effects are expected to be diverse and long-lasting...

Infographics