Sanofi Partners With Moderna to Answer Global Demand for COVID-19 Vaccines

Sanofi_Michel Stoupak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Michel Stoupak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sanofi will use its manufacturing capabilities to support the development of 200 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine beginning in September. The company is boosting the number of authorized vaccines while researching the development of its own preventative medicines.

Sanofi’s partnership with Moderna marks the third vaccine program the France-based company is backing with manufacturing. The company will manufacture the Moderna vaccine at its fill and finish facility in Ridgefield, N.J. Earlier this year, the company announced partnerships with both Johnson & Johnson and BioNTech.

Sanofi Chief Executive Officer Paul Hudson said his company has been mobilizing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic on multiple fronts. By manufacturing vaccines developed by other companies, he said it shows solidarity across the industry.

“We are one of the few pharmaceutical companies to leverage many industrial partnerships to improve global supply and access to COVID-19 vaccines, while in parallel, also continuing to develop our two COVID-19 vaccine programs. I would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Biden administration, to facilitate this new partnership,” Hudson said in a statement.

In January, Sanofi announced it would provide Germany’s BioNTech with access to its established infrastructure and expertise to produce over 125 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Europe. The initial doses from that partnership are expected to begin rolling off the line by early summer. At the time the deal was announced, Hudson said the collaboration was a “step toward the industry’s all-hands-on-deck mentality to curb the COVID-19 threat.”

One month later, Sanofi entered into an agreement with life sciences giant J&J to manufacture that company’s COVID-19 vaccine in Europe. Sanofi said it will provide J&J access to its vaccine manufacturing plant in Marcy l’Etoile, France, to formulate and fill vials of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine at a rate of approximately 12 million doses per month. The J&J vaccine was authorized for use in Europe in March. 

Sanofi is the only large manufacturer to support the production of all three vaccines, the company said. Sanofi said it continues to seek a place to make a meaningful impact against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to its support for the three vaccine makers, the company continues to develop its own vaccine candidates that use the GlaxoSmithKline adjuvant platform. The Sanofi vaccines use the same recombinant protein-based manufacturing technology as Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines. 

In February, the Sanofi/ GSK vaccine entered a Phase II study with an improved antigen formulation. Enrollment was completed on March 8, and results of this study are expected in the second quarter of this year. 

The vaccine is expected to move into Phase III shortly after that, and, if successful in that trial, it could be available for marketing by the end of the year. 

In addition to the recombinant protein-based vaccine in collaboration with GSK, Sanofi is developing a messenger RNA vaccine in partnership with Translate Bio. In March 2021, Sanofi and Translate Bio initiated a Phase I/II clinical trial of their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate to assess safety, immune response and reactogenicity after preclinical data showed high neutralizing antibody levels.

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