The largest coronavirus vaccine study in the world commenced recently in the U.S., with the first of 30,000 participants getting inoculated with a vaccine developed through the joint effort of pharmaceutials company Moderna and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The technology involved was originally used by Sanofi to create an influenza vaccine, and will now be supplemented by GSK's established pandemic adjuvant technology.
Coronavirus vaccine news update: Scientists from all the countries of the world including India are engaged in developing the coronavirus vaccine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said COVID-19 needs multiple vaccine approaches, noting the typical rate of success for vaccine development is only around 10%.
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Sanofi and GSK's drug is a so-called recombinant protein-based vaccine, which means that it involves using DNA to encode an antigen, toxin or other foreign substance, which induces an immune response in the vaccinated person. If the data are positive, the companies can request USA regulatory approval in the first half of 2021.
AstraZeneca in June became the first manufacturer to sign up for Gavi's programme, committing 300 million doses, and Pfizer and Bio-NTech signalled interest in potentially supplying Covax.
The contract is the latest in a series of deals - potentially worth more than $8 billion - struck by the USA government aimed at accelerating development of Covid-19 vaccines and securing large supplies before potential product approvals. For that reason, we have been negotiating a united European Union approach to secure doses of promising vaccine candidates in recent weeks. And this morning the U.S. government has procured up to 100 million doses in an Operation Warp Speed deal worth $2.1 billion.
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Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said that they would start vaccinating health workers and teachers first. Around 1,600 people above 18 years of age will participate in the trials across 17 selected sites.
"This announcement helps to ensure that millions of Europeans will have access to a potential vaccine protecting against COVID-19, once proven safe and effective", said Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur.
The potential vaccine is still in the preclinical trial phase of development, less far along than some of the other Operation Warp Speed candidates. From there, the company could seek emergency FDA approval in the first half of 2021.
The award is the biggest yet from 'Operation Warp Speed, ' the White House initiative aimed at accelerating access to vaccines and treatments to fight COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health.
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Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson drew the ire of French officials in May when he suggested any COVID-19 vaccine would be offered first to the U.S. government because it had been investing in its development. However, the agency cautioned that healthcare professionals could charge for the cost of administering the vaccine "as is customary with government-purchased vaccines".