Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have signed a letter of intent to use their respective innovative technology to co-develop a COVID-19 vaccine, the pharma companies announced on Tuesday.
Sanofi will contribute its S-protein COVID-19 antigen, based on recombinant DNA technology while GSK will contribute its pandemic adjuvant technology.
The companies plan to start phase I clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and complete development required for availability by the second half of 2021.
The companies have set up a joint collaboration task force, co-chaired by David Loew, Global Head of Vaccines, Sanofi and Roger Connor, President Vaccines, GSK.
Definitive terms of the collaboration are expected to be finalised over the next few weeks.
“As the world faces this unprecedented global health crisis, it is clear that no one company can go it alone,” Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said. “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.”
Emma Walmsley, CEO GSK, said the collaboration would bring two of the world’s largest vaccines companies together. “By combining our science and our technologies, we believe we can help accelerate the global effort to develop a vaccine to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19,” she added.
Development of Sanofi’s recombinant-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate is being supported through funding and a collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), in the US.
Sanofi and GSK plan to discuss funding support with other governments and global institutions prioritising global access.