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US to pay Sanofi, GSK $2.1 bn for Covid-19 vaccine to cover 50 mn people

A Sanofi executive said the companies had not yet agreed with the US on a specific price for additional doses

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Coronavirus Vaccine | Sanofi  | Coronavirus

Reuters  |  New Delhi 

coronavirus
The two companies' inoculation is combination of a vaccine based on Sanofi's flu shots and a complementary technology from GSK called an adjuvant

The US government will pay $2.1 billion to SA and Plc for vaccines to cover 50 million people and to underwrite the drugmakers' testing and manufacturing, the companies said on Friday.

The drugmakers also said they were in advanced discussions to supply up to 300 million doses of the experimental vaccine for the 27-country European Union.

The US award is the biggest yet from 'Operation Warp Speed', the White House initiative aimed at accelerating access to vaccines and treatments to fight Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel

The deal, announced by the US Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense, works out at a cost of around $42 per person inoculated.

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That is almost identical to the $40 per patient the US agreed to pay Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE when it inked a nearly $2 billion deal for 50 million courses of that potential vaccine last week.

The Sanofi-deal is for 100 million doses, at two per person, and gives the US government an option to purchase an additional 500 million doses at an unspecified price. and plan to start clinical trials for the vaccine in September.

executive Clement Lewin said the companies had not yet agreed with the US on a specific price for the additional doses. said in a statement that more than half of the total funding will go into further development of the vaccine, including clinical trials, with the remainder used for a manufacturing ramp-up and delivery of doses.


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The two companies' inoculation is combination of a vaccine based on Sanofi's flu shots and a complementary technology from GSK called an adjuvant, designed to improve the vaccine's potency. Sanofi will receive the bulk of the proceeds from the deal.

It marks the second contract for the Franco-British pair's vaccine candidate after they agreed earlier this week to supply 60 million doses to the British government.

Reuters reported last week that Pfizer's deal was expected to set a pricing benchmark for future deals between drugmakers and governments.

Moderna Inc and Pfizer began two 30,000-subject trials of vaccines on Monday that could clear the way for regulatory approval and use by the end of 2020.

First Published: Sat, August 01 2020. 08:36 IST
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