Michael Herman and Carl O’Donnell
July 31 (Reuters) – The US government will pay $ 2.1 billion to Sanofi SA and GlaxoSmithKline Plc for COVID-19 vaccines to reach 50 million people and conquer testing and drug production, the company said Friday.
The award is the largest since Operation Warp Speed, a White House initiative aimed at accelerating access to vaccines and treatment to combat COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus.
The deal, announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, costs about $ 42 per person vaccinated.
That’s almost identical to $ 40 per patient, the US agreed to pay Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE when it signed nearly $ 2 billion last week for 50 million courses of this potential vaccine.
The Sanofi-GSK agreement is designed for 100 million doses, two per person, and allows the government to purchase an additional 500 million doses at an indefinite price. Sanofi and GSK plan to begin clinical trials for the vaccine in September.
Sanofi CEO Clement Levin said the companies had not yet agreed with the government on a specific price for additional doses.
The GSK statement said more than half of the total funding would go to further vaccine development, including clinical trials, and the remainder would be used to increase and make doses.
The two vaccination companies are a combination of a vaccine based on a picture of Sanofi flu and an additional technology from GSK called an adjuvant designed to increase the effectiveness of the vaccine.
The bulk of the proceeds from the deal will go to Sanofi.
He notes a second contract for the French-British couple’s vaccine candidate after they agreed earlier this week to supply the British government with 60 million doses.
Reuters reported last week that the Pfizer deal is expected to set a price point for future deals between drug manufacturers and governments.
Moderna Inc and Pfizer have launched two trials of 30,000 COVID-19 vaccines that could clear the way for regulatory approval and use by the end of 2020. Ian Garvey)