The European Commission announced Friday that is has closed its second contract for a possible coronavirus vaccine, this time with French drugmaker Sanofi and Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, following a similar deal with AstraZeneca.
The deal allows EU countries to purchase up to 300 million doses of the vaccine candidate that is being jointly developed by the two companies. The shot is currently in a Phase 1/2 study and is expected to enter a Phase 3 clinical trial by the end of 2020, the Commission said in its public statement. Should these be successful, the vaccine could become available in the second half of 2021, the Commission added.
In the announcement, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised that more agreements with other companies “will be concluded soon,” with the aim of building a portfolio of “promising vaccines, based on various types of technologies, increasing our chances to find an effective remedy against the virus.”
The Commission didn’t disclose the financial terms of the agreement, but said that the deal will be financed through the Emergency Support Instrument.
“Together with the Member States and the European Medicines Agency, the Commission will use existing flexibilities to accelerate the authorisation and availability of successful vaccines against COVID-19,” it wrote, adding that regulatory processes “will be flexible but remain robust.”