In February 2020, Sanofi announced a collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to advance a novel COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Work is underway to leverage previous development of a SARS vaccine candidate using Sanofi’s recombinant DNA technology. COVID-19 belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as SARS. Research materials can be produced relatively quickly for clinical testing because Sanofi has a licensed influenza vaccine based on this platform. Further, this technology has the advantage of being highly scalable, allowing Sanofi to potentially rapidly produce large quantities of the coronavirus antigen. Sanofi is also coordinating with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), sharing its vaccine R&D experience and expertise to advance vaccine solution. Sanofi Pasteur and Translate Bio, a clinical-stage messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics company, will also collaborate to develop a novel mRNA vaccine for COVID-19.

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.