Nicolas Charloteaux - 29 Sep 2020
GSK is supporting vaccine development by providing access to its pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform to selected institutions and companies with promising vaccine candidates. In doing this it is contributing to a coordinated effort, focusing on the most promising approaches to enable development of strong candidate vaccines for COVID-19. Access to its adjuvant technology is being provided through CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations or directly, in bilateral agreements (see below).
In the pandemic flu setting, GSK’s adjuvant system has been shown to be antigen-sparing, i.e. less of the antigen is needed per dose to protect an individual than would be needed in a vaccine without the adjuvant included. If this is shown to be the case with its adjuvant system for COVID-19 vaccines, the company would be able to protect more people, as less antigen would be needed per person, a crucial advantage in the case of a pandemic where high numbers of doses are needed for broad protection and manufacturing capacity is limited.
Sanofi and GSK have also signed a letter of intent to develop an adjuvanted vaccine for COVID-19, using innovative technology from both companies: Sanofi will contribute its S-protein COVID-19 antigen, which is based on recombinant DNA technology; and GSK will contribute its proven pandemic adjuvant technology. They 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 licensure in the second half of 2021. Considering the extraordinary humanitarian and financial challenge of the pandemic, both companies believe that global access to COVID-19 vaccines is a priority and are committed to making any vaccine that is developed through the collaboration affordable to the public and through mechanisms that offer fair access for people in all countries.
In addition to Sanofi, GSK is also collaborating with the University of Queensland, Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Xiamen Innovax Biotech Co., Ltd.