GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi struck a $2.1 billion deal with the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program to supply an initial 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate under development by the two companies.
This morning, the two companies announced the collaborative effort with the U.S. government to accelerate the development and manufacturing of a COVID-19 recombinant protein-based vaccine. Under terms of the agreement, more than half of the $2.1 billion deal supports further development of the vaccine, including clinical trials, with the remainder used for manufacturing scale-up and delivery of an initial 100 million doses of the vaccine. In its analysis of the deal, Forbes noted that the price of a vaccine comes out to about $10.50 per dose.
That pricing follows analyses of other potential prices for COVID-19 vaccine candidates developed by other companies. A Motley Fool report shows that Moderna has a rough price for its mRNA vaccine candidate at $50 to $60 per two-dose treatment course. AstraZeneca, which is working with the Jenner Institute of Oxford University, has made arrangements with some European governments for its vaccine candidate to cost about $3 or $4 per dose, the Fool noted.
Pfizer and Germany-based BioNTech inked a $1.95 billion deal with the U.S. government last week for 100 million doses of its vaccine candidate, with an option for 500 million more. That sets the price for that vaccine candidate, should it be approved and used, at about $20 per dose.
The vaccine candidate, developed by Sanofi in partnership with GSK, is based on the recombinant protein technology used by Sanofi to produce an influenza vaccine, and GSK’s established pandemic adjuvant technology. Sanofi and GSK struck their vaccine development partnership in April. The companies expect a Phase I/II story to begin in September. A Phase III study could begin by the end of the year if the data is strong enough. If data are positive, the companies can request U.S. regulatory approval in the first half of 2021.
In the deal announced this morning, the U.S. government has a further option for the supply of an additional 500 million doses longer term. This helps the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed goals of providing millions of doses of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
Earlier this week, the two companies struck a deal with the government of the United Kingdom to provide 60 million doses of the preventative medication.
Thomas Triomphe, Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur, said the global need for a COVID-19 vaccine is “massive.” Triomphe noted that the vaccine candidates under development by GSK and his company, as well as those under development from other pharma companies will be necessary in order to defeat the pandemic. He said no single vaccine or company will be able to meet the global demand on its own.
“From the beginning of the pandemic, Sanofi has leveraged its deep scientific expertise and resources to help address this crisis, collaborating with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to unlock a rapid path toward developing a pandemic vaccine and manufacturing at large scale,” Triomphe said in a statement.
In parallel, Sanofi and GSK are scaling up manufacturing of the antigen and adjuvant to produce up to one billion doses per year globally. The companies plan to provide a significant portion of total worldwide available supply capacity to “Access to COVID‐19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator,” a global initiative tasked with providing equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.