Britain nears $625 mln Sanofi/GSK COVID-19 vaccine deal -report
(Adds detail, context, background)
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, July 5 (Reuters) - Britain is close to a 500 million
pound ($624 million) supply deal with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline
for 60 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, the Sunday
Clinical trials are due to start in September and Sanofi
has said it expects to get approval by the first half
of next year, sooner than previously anticipated.
More than 100 vaccines are being developed and tested around
the world to stop the COVID-19 pandemic and governments are
racing to secure supplies of vaccines even before their efficacy
A supply agreement with Sanofi and GSK would be Britain's
second such deal, after it said it would buy 100 million doses
of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Sanofi was not immediately available to comment, while a
spokesman for GSK declined to comment. Both have both
said they are prioritising quality over speed in developing a
"The Government's Vaccines Task Force is actively engaging
with a wide range of companies both in the UK and abroad to
negotiate access to vaccines," a spokeswoman for Britain's
business ministry, said, without confirming if Sanofi or GSK
were among them.
The Sunday Times report said that Britain was considering
taking an option to buy the vaccine should it work in human
trials, and would see the amount paid in stages.
Sanofi is working on two possible COVID-19 vaccines, one of
which uses an adjuvant made by GSK to potentially boost its
efficacy, and has said it has capacity to produce up to 1
billion doses a year.
Its timeline for clinical trials is behind the likes of
Moderna Inc, the University of Oxford in collaboration
with AstraZeneca Plc, and an alliance of BioNTech
and Pfizer Inc, whose projects all grabbed
headlines by moving to human trials as early as March.
Sanofi has received financial backing from the United States
and caused a stir in its home base of France after its British
CEO Paul Hudson signalled that Europe was being too slow in
supporting work on a vaccine, hinting U.S. patients might get
any vaccine it develops first.
The EU is also seeking a deal with Sanofi, and has invited
Britain to join its efforts to buy vaccines for the bloc.
($1 = 0.8011 pounds)
(Reporting by Alistair Smout in London, additional reporting by
Josephine Mason in London and Michel Rose and Caroline Pailliez
in Paris; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Alexander Smith)
First Published: 2020-07-05 08:44:25
Updated 2020-07-05 16:03:55
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