Sanofi and GSK recently announced that they have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on an adjuvanted vaccine for COVID-19 — with a goal of having the vaccine available by the second half of 2021.
Sanofi is contributing its S-protein COVID-19 antigen. The company’s recombinant DNA technology produced an exact genetic match to proteins found on the surface of the coronavirus. Sanofi researchers took the DNA sequence encoding the antigen and combined it with the DNA of the baculovirus expression platform, the basis of Sanofi’s licensed recombinant influenza product in the U.S.
GSK meanwhile has its pandemic adjuvant technology. Using an adjuvant can be of particular importance in a pandemic situation, according to the companies, because the adjuvant may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose. The result is the availability of more vaccine doses to protect more people from the virus.
“As the world faces this unprecedented global health crisis, it is clear that no one company can go it alone. 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,” Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said in an April 14 news release.
GSK CEO Emma Walmsley thinks the partnership will help accelerate the global effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.