FILE PHOTO: The logo of Sanofi is seen at the company’s headquarters in Paris, France, April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo


The Trump Administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” has pledged its largest grant of $2.1 billion to pharmaceutical giants Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline. The White House initiative is dedicated to generating an accessible SARS-CoV-2 vaccine by 2021 and has multiple players working on developing a vaccine as soon as this fall. There are currently twenty-five potential vaccines that have already made it to human testing in clinical trials.

A large majority of the multi-billion dollar pledge will go toward early-stage clinical trials, with the rest supplying the payment for the first 100 million doses. There is an undisclosed amount that could allow the U.S. to order 500 million more doses from Sanofi-Glaxo, if all goes according to plan. Sanofi being the main vaccine candidate will receive a majority of the pledge, with Glaxo receiving the rest to develop its booster that improves how one’s body responds to the vaccine. 

Being a French company, Sanofi’s involvement with the U.S. government initially upset French officials. Sanofi’s CEO Paul Hudson stated in May that the U.S. has “the right to the largest pre-order because it’s invested in taking the risk.” France’s State Secretary for Economy and Finance Agnès Pannier-Runacher stated that it would be “unacceptable” for the U.S. to receive “privileged access” before the European nation. Hudson responded to the criticism by back-stepping his original stance and confirmed that access for all was “non-negotiable.” The UK has since also signed a deal with Sanofi-Glaxo for 60 million doses.


Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline Snag Biggest Coronavirus Vaccine Deal Yet – The New York Times – 7/31/2020
The arrangement brings the Trump administration’s investment in coronavirus vaccine projects to more than $8 billion. The head of the federal effort is a former GSK executive.

Sanofi, GSK reach virus vaccine deals with US, EU – Medical Xpress – 7/31/2020
The United States has identified a vaccine candidate under development by Sanofi and GSK for its “Operation Warp Speed,” which aims to rapidly secure millions of doses. The firms aim to combine a Sanofi-developed antigen, which stimulates the production of germ-killing antibodies, with GSK’s adjuvant technology, a substance that bolsters the immune response triggered by a vaccine.

U.S. government awards $2.1B to Sanofi-GSK coronavirus vaccine – Politico – 7/31/2020
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline will receive up to $2.1 billion from the U.S. government to further develop their coronavirus vaccine and provide Americans with 100 million doses. The U.S. has the option to purchase another 500 million doses of the vaccine if it proves safe and effective, the companies said Friday.

‘Vaccine nationalism’: Is it every country for itself? – Reuters – 7/31/2020
It’s dog eat dog in the world of COVID-19 vaccines. And in the latest swoop, Britain announced a deal on Wednesday to secure advanced supplies of potential COVID-19 vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi. This, according to global health charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), will further fuel “the global scramble to hoard vaccines by rich countries” and feed “a dangerous trend of vaccine nationalism”.


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