LONDON: Drugmakers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have agreed to provide 200 million doses of their potential COVID-19 vaccine to the COVAX Facility, a collaboration designed to give countries around the world equal access to coronavirus vaccines.
The Sanofi-GSK vaccine candidate is in early stage trials, with results expected in early December. The drugmakers said on Wednesday (Oct 28) that they plan to begin the phase three trial by the end of the year and request regulatory approval of the vaccine in the first half of 2021.
The facility is part of COVAX, a coalition of governments, health organisations, businesses and charities working to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines.
Thomas Triomphe, head of Sanofi’s vaccine unit, said: ”To address a global health crisis of this magnitude, it takes unique partnerships. The commitment we are announcing today for the COVAX Facility can help us together stand a better chance of bringing the pandemic under control.”
Almost 44 million people have been confirmed to be infected with the virus worldwide and 1.16 million of them have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Experts say the true toll of the pandemic is much greater than that, due to limited testing, missed mild cases and concealment of cases by some governments.