Sanofi lands 3rd Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing partner as it works to push forward its own jab
As the demand for mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccines persists, Sanofi is jumping into the fray.
The French drugmaker has entered an agreement with Moderna to manufacture the company’s Covid-19 vaccine. The agreement marks the third different company Sanofi has paired with to manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine, since their own effort to develop a pandemic inoculation faced significant setbacks.
The company will perform fill-and-finish at its Ridgefield, NJ site to complete up to 200 million doses of the vaccine. That will begin in September.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been mobilizing on multiple fronts and we showed solidarity across the industry,” CEO Paul Hudson said in a statement. “We are one of the few pharmaceutical companies to leverage many industrial partnerships to improve equitable global supply and access to Covid-19 vaccines, while in parallel, also continuing to develop our 2 Covid-19 vaccine programs.”
In February, Sanofi announced that it would support manufacturing for 12 million doses a month of J&J’s vaccine at its manufacturing site in France. Before that, the company signed on to provide 125 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the EU, stepping up as some countries worried if they’d receive enough doses and Italy threatened legal action.
Its own attempt at a Covid-19 vaccine, alongside GlaxoSmithKline, hit a major setback in December, after the companies announced the shot failed among adults older than 49 years old in an early study. A low immune response “likely due to sufficient concentration of the antigen” was to blame, according to researchers. The 2 companies had anticipated getting hundreds of millions of the vaccine on the market to help parts of the world in dire need of pandemic help, and relied on a slower but more proven technology.
That vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as 1 of the company’s seasonal flu vaccines. In February, Sanofi announced the start of a Phase II study with an improved antigen fomulation, and a total of 720 participants. The earliest that vaccine would be available would be Q4 2021. It previously was looking to head to Phase III trials in December 2020.
For a look at all Endpoints News coronavirus stories, check out our special news channel.