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Sanofi expects approval for its COVID-19 vaccine by the start of 2021

Published on 23/06/20 at 11:35am
U.S. Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.

Sanofi has said it expects to have its coronavirus vaccine approved by the start of next year which is faster than previously anticipated.

They are developing this vaccine in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, while the company itself is working on another with US company Translate Bio.

Paul Hudson, Sanofi’s Chief Executive, said: “There are companies moving faster, but let us be brutally clear, speed has three downsides. Other companies are using existing work, in many cases done for SARS; it is likely not to be as efficacious; and there is no guarantee on supply in large volumes.” He added that the probability of success for Sanofi is “higher than anybody else.”

The Sanofi-GSK vaccine, a recombinant treatment, is to start trials in September, while its other with Translate, an mRNA vaccine, should take place before the end of the year.

Sanofi says it has the capacity to produce up to 1 billion doses a year of its recombinant vaccine and 360 million doses of its mRNA vaccine.

To help with production, the company has put €610 million into a new project to build a new vaccine manufacturing facility and research site in its home country of France. The company also confirmed it would be investing €120 million to construct a new digital research facility at the existing Sanofi Pasteur site at Marcy-l'Etoile.

In May, Sanofi caused a political firestorm in France after Hudson said that the US would get its vaccine first due to funding for its development from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the Department of Health, despite having received millions of Euros worth of tax credits from the French government. They eventually backed down on this stance due to political pressure from President Macron.

Conor Kavanagh

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