French Drug Maker Sanofi to Make COVID Vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech.
SANOFI has announced today (January 27) that it will produce 125 million vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech from the second half of the year – while it struggles to finish its own vaccine.
Huge demands made across the world for vaccines has meant that orders are beginning to get delayed and this has led drug manufacturers in other countries to offer help in producing the vaccines that have already been officially approved.
On Sunday (January 24), European Union (EU) announced that it was putting pressure on pharmaceutical companies to deliver the doses of coronavirus vaccines that they had pledged to provide during the first quarter of the year, following announcements of delays by Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
Sanofi chief executive Paul Hudson said in a statement: “We are very conscious that the earlier vaccine doses are available, the more lives can potentially be saved. Today’s announcement is a pivotal step towards our industry’s collective goal of putting all the effort in to curb this pandemic.
“Although vaccination campaigns have started around the world, the ability to get shots into arms is being limited by lower than expected supplies and delayed approval timelines owing to production shortages. We have made the decision to support BioNTech and Pfizer in manufacturing their COVID-19 vaccine in order to help address global needs, given that we have the technology and facilities to do so. As always, our top priority is to focus our efforts and capabilities on fighting this global pandemic.
“First and foremost, we will do this by continuing to develop our own COVID-19 vaccines candidates, in parallel with this industrial cooperation.”
Speaking about their COVID vaccine, being jointly developed with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, Hudson said: “Since our main vaccine is a few months late, we asked ourselves how we could be of assistance now.”
The vaccine had shown an insufficient immune response in older people, delaying its launch to late this year.
Germany-based BioNTech will initially produce the vaccines at Sanofi facilities in Frankfurt, starting in the summer, according to a Sanofi statement. The company did not reveal the financial details of the agreement.
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