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Sanofi, GSK To Jointly Develop Adjuvanted Vaccine For COVID-19

coronavirus feb18 14apr20

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline plc announced Tuesday the signing of a letter of intent to develop an adjuvanted vaccine for COVID-19.

Sanofi will contribute its S-protein COVID-19 antigen, which is based on recombinant DNA technology. It has produced an exact genetic match to proteins found on the surface of the virus. According to the company, the DNA sequence encoding this antigen has been combined into the DNA of the baculovirus expression platform, the basis of Sanofi's licensed recombinant influenza product in the US.

Further, GSK will contribute its proven pandemic adjuvant technology. The use of an adjuvant may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose, allowing more vaccine doses to be produced.

The companies plan to initiate phase I clinical trials in the second half of 2020. If successful, they aim to complete the development required for availability by the second half of 2021 subject to regulatory considerations.

Sanofi is already in collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority or BARDA, which funds the development of the recombinant-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate. BARDA is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The companies plan to discuss funding support with other governments and global institutions prioritising global access.

In late March, Sanofi announced that its vaccines global business unit Sanofi Pasteur and Translate Bio, a clinical-stage messenger RNA or mRNA therapeutics company, plan to collaborate to develop a novel mRNA vaccine for COVID-19.

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