By Joseph Walker
NEW YORK (Dow Jones) – The U.S. government is paying pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and Glaxosmithkline up to $ 2.1 billion to fund the development of a coronavirus vaccine. In return for the financial injection, the U.S. would be guaranteed 100 million doses if the vaccine proved to be safe and effective in clinical trials, the companies said.
Sanofi, based in Paris, is leading the development of the vaccine and plans to begin clinical trials in September. The late phase of clinical development should then begin at the end of this year. If the studies are positive, companies could apply for approval in the U.S. in the first half of 2021.
The deal is the latest in a series of deals – with a total potential value of more than US $ 8 billion – that the Washington government has signed to accelerate the development of Covid-19 vaccines and anticipate large deliveries to secure possible product approvals.
For example, the USA deals are worth over $ 1 billion each with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its partner Biontech, the British Astrazeneca and its partner, the University of Oxford, and with the Biotech– Novavax company completed. Each of the agreements guarantees the United States 100 million doses or more if the vaccines are approved by regulators.
At Sanofi and Glaxo, the United States also has the option of securing another 500 million cans in the long term, Sanofi said.
The U.S. government also helps fund medicines that can treat infected patients. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has received approximately $ 618 million.
Sanofi and Glaxosmithkline said they also have active talks with the European Union about delivering vaccines to member countries.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 31, 2020 08:09 ET (12:09 GMT)