Sanofi and GSK have signed a letter of intent to develop an adjuvanted vaccine for COVID-19, using technology from both companies, to help address the ongoing pandemic.
Sanofi is providing its S-protein COVID-19 antigen, which is based on recombinant DNA technology. This technology has produced an exact genetic match to proteins found on the surface of the virus, and the DNA sequence encoding this antigen has been combined into the DNA of the baculovirus expression platform.
GSK will contribute its pandemic adjuvant technology. The use of an adjuvant can be of may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose, allowing more vaccine doses to be produced.
“As the world faces this unprecedented global health crisis, it is clear that no one company can go it alone.” said Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO. "That is why Sanofi is continuing to complement its expertise and resources with our peers, such as GSK, with the goal to create and supply sufficient quantities of vaccines that will help stop this virus."
“This collaboration brings together two of the world’s largest vaccines companies.” said Emma Walmsley, CEO of GSK. "By combining our scientific expertise, technologies and capabilities, we believe that we can help accelerate the global effort to develop a vaccine to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19."
The companies plan to initiate phase I clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and, if successful, subject to regulatory considerations, aim to complete the development required for availability by the second half of 2021.
As previously announced by Sanofi, development of the recombinant-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate is being supported through funding and a collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The companies have entered into a Material Transfer Agreement to enable them to start working together immediately. Definitive terms of the collaboration are expected to be finalized over the next few weeks.
Read the full Sanofi release