Drug giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi have announced they will collaborate to develop a vaccine for Covid-19, with clinical trials expected to begin in the second half of 2020, according to a statement released on Tuesday.
“Sanofi and GSK today announce that they have signed a letter of intent to enter into a collaboration to develop an adjuvanted vaccine for COVID-19, using innovative technology from both companies, to help address the ongoing pandemic,” the two companies said in the joint statement.
“The companies plan to initiate phase I clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and, if successful and subject to regulatory considerations, aim to complete the development required for availability by the second half of 2021,” the statement added.
The unprecedented pairing between two of the world’s largest vaccines companies will see the establishment of a “Joint Collaboration Task Force,” which will seek to mobilize resources from both companies to accelerate the development of a vaccine.
“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 Tuesday.
“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,” GSK CEO Emma Walmsley added.
In their joint statement, GSK and Sanofi both affirmed that they are committed to ensuring that any vaccine that is developed through their collaboration would be made “affordable to the public and through mechanisms that offer fair access” in all countries.