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

UK adds to its arsenal of potential vaccine candidates

GSK building

The UK government has agreed a deal with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline for 60 million doses of their potential COVID-19 vaccine, as it adds to its arsenal of possible candidates against the novel coronavirus.

The deal ensures early access to the COVID-19 vaccine if it proves effective in clinical trials, with the first doses going to priority groups, including frontline health and social care workers.

Sanofi, which is leading the clinical development of the vaccine, expects a phase 1/2 study to begin in September, with a large-scale phase 3 trial to start by the end of 2020. If all goes to plan in these studies, Sanofi/GSK hope to achieve regulatory approval by the first half of 2021.

The agreement covers a vaccine candidate which uses GSK’s AS03 adjuvant and is based on Sanofi’s baculovirus expression system – already used in its quadrivalent flu vaccine.

“Our scientists and researchers are racing to find a safe and effective vaccine at a speed and scale never seen before. While this progress is truly remarkable, the fact remains that there are no guarantees,” said UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma.

“In the meantime, 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,” he added.

The deal with GSK/Sanofi is the fourth agreement made between the UK government and a number of vaccine developers, including Pfizer/BioNTech, Valneva and AstraZeneca/Oxford University.

Earlier this month, the UK forged a partnership with Pfizer/BioNTech for access to 30 million doses of their mRNA-based vaccine candidate, while Valneva is set to provide up to 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

AstraZeneca/Oxford University has also signed a global licensing agreement with the UK government to research, develop and manufacture their COVID-19 vaccine for people living in the UK, committing to produce 100 million doses in total.

Following the GSK/Sanofi agreement, the UK has now secured early access to a total of 250 million doses of these respective vaccines, as part of a nationwide strategy to fight the virus into next year.

According to the government, 72,000 people in the UK have now volunteered to receive information about participating in future vaccine studies, following the launch of the NHS COVID-19 vaccine research registry last week.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

29th July 2020

From: Healthcare

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