Shares of French pharmaceutical company Sanofi SA (EPA: SAN) today surged higher after the company sealed a $2.1 billion deal with the US government in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline Plc (LON: GSK).
The deal is for the supply of 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed as a joint project between GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi. The two companies said that they expect to deliver at least 1 doses of the vaccine annually with the US government having the option to purchase up to 500 million doses.
The Sanofi-GSK coronavirus vaccine is starting clinical trials behind those of other pharmaceutical companies that are involved in the government’s Operation Warp Speed project, but it is the only vaccine that uses currently approved vaccine technologies.
Other pharma companies participating in the project include Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Novavax, with Moderna having already begun phase 3 trials.
Alex Azar, the US Health and Human Services Secretary said, “The portfolio of vaccines being assembled for Operation Warp Speed increases the odds that we will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,”
Adding that: “Today’s investment supports the Sanofi and GSK adjuvanted product all the way through clinical trials and manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people.”
Sanofi share price