World’s Largest Vaccine Makers Begin Human Testing, COVID Vaccine by 2021

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  • Results of the trial are expected to arrive in early December 2020.
  • The two pharmaceutical companies are scaling up their manufacturing units to achieve an all time high of $1bn doses in production.
  • The US government also agreed to provide funds to speed up the development process, in return for 100m doses of the vaccine, if effective.
  • They are also looking to start a third phase of trials before the end of the year. 

GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi are to start testing their protein-based Covid-19 vaccine on humans for the first time, reports The Guardian.

The vaccine being developed by London-headquartered GSK and Paris-based Sanofi combines existing technology used by Sanofi to make its flu vaccine, along with an add-on from GSK, known as an adjuvant, which can be mixed with a vaccine to trigger a stronger immune reaction.

Trial results by the end of 2020

The firms said the clinical trial, which involves 440 healthy adults in the US, was designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability and immune response of the vaccine, and it is hoped that first results will be received in early December 2020.

A phase 3 trial could begin before the end of the year, which would involve the vaccine being given to thousands of people, and if successful, GSK and Sanofi would request regulatory approval in the first half of 2021.

$1bn doses to be produced in 2021

Combined, the two pharmaceutical firms have the largest vaccine manufacturing capability in the world and are scaling up manufacturing to target producing 1bn doses in 2021.

Roger Connor, the president of GSK Vaccines, said: 

“Moving this vaccine candidate into clinical development is an important moment in the progress towards addressing the global pandemic we are all facing. This builds on the confidence shown by governments already.”

The US government agreed in July to give GSK and Sanofi $2.1bn (£1.6bn) to speed up development of the vaccine, which would also provide the US with 100m doses of the treatment, if effective. 

The firms have also agreed to supply the UK government with up to 60m doses of the vaccine.

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Source: The Guardian

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