- World-leading drug companies Sanofi and Glaxo have begun trials of a coronavirus vaccine on humans for the first time.
- Over 400 healthy people are enrolled at 11 sites across the US.
- Both firms aim to supply up to one billion vaccine doses in 2021, but new research from the WHO suggests that Covid-19 vaccinations are not expected until mid-2021.
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European Drug makers, Glaxosmithkline and Sanofi, have begun testing their new protein-based coronavirus vaccine on humans for the first time. If effective, they aim to produce up to one billion doses in 2021.
GSK, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, and French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, have enrolled 440 people across 11 sites in the United States, both companies confirmed to Business Insider. Previous studies have shown promising results.
Both firms expect to have results by early December this year and will then look to progress into phase three by the end of this year. If the results are successful, GSK and Sanofi will request regulatory approval in the first half of next year.
Their vaccine combines the same technology Sanofi uses to make its flu vaccine and with help from GSK to create a stronger immune response.
Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur said in a statement that the beginning of the clinical study is an important step in helping defeat COVID-19.
Triomphe added that GSK and Sanofi aim to deliver a safe and effective vaccine through proven science and technology.
Meanwhile, Roger Connor, President of GSK Vaccines, described the trials as “an important moment” in addressing the coronavirus pandemic and “builds on the confidence shown by governments.”
In July, GSK and Sanofi announced a plan with the US government to provide up to 100 million doses of their vaccine to meet the government’s goal of speeding up the availability of hundreds of millions of vaccine doses in the US. The two firms have also agreed to supply up to 60 million doses to the United Kingdom.
GSK and Sanofi join more than 20 other pharmaceutical companies in the race to develop a vaccine.
However, latest research from the World Health Organisation suggests widespread Covid-19 vaccinations will not be available until mid-2021 due to the process of rigorous checks and regulatory approvals.