PARIS, July 29 (Reuters) - Sanofi and GSK
said they had reached an agreement with Britain to supply it
with up to 60 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, and
that discussions with other governments were ongoing.
No vaccine has yet been approved to treat or prevent
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus
which has killed more than 659,000 people and triggered economic
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Sanofi
and GSK, which had first teamed up in April, confirmed in a
statement that regulatory approval for their vaccine could be
achieved by the first half of 2021 if clinical data was to be
The first clinical trials are expected in September.
The vaccine will be developed by combining Sanofi's
S-protein COVID-19 antigen and GSK's pandemic adjuvant
Adjuvants are efficacy boosters that play a vital role in
many vaccines. An adjuvant is added to some vaccines to enhance
the immune response, and has been shown to create a stronger and
longer lasting immunity against infections than a vaccine alone.
Sanofi and GSK said other discussions with the European
Union, Italy and France to supply their vaccine were ongoing.
Sanofi and GSK are hoping to clinch a deal soon to provide
300 million doses to the European Union.
Two sources told Reuters that negotiations stalled because
the company wanted to secure an upfront payment for the entire
stock while the EU would rather delay payments until the vaccine
has passed large clinical trials.
(Reporting by Matthias Blamont;
Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)