Sanofi will replenish and package millions of doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine from July in an effort to help meet the huge demand for shots from the US pharmaceutical manufacturer.
The French company is striving to help deliver more than 100 million doses of the vaccine this year from its German factory in Frankfurt, CEO Paul Hudson told Le Figaro newspaper on Tuesday.
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, like other COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers such as AstraZeneca, are fighting to meet the huge demand for shots that are the world’s best alternative for overcoming the pandemic.
Last month, Sanofi and the UK’s GlaxoSmithKline said a COVID-19 vaccine they were developing together had shown an insufficient immune response in older people, delaying the launch until the end of the year.
The company has been under pressure since then to seek ways to help with COVID-19 vaccines developed by other drug manufacturers as the pandemic intensifies again in Europe and elsewhere.
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“Because our main vaccine is a few months late, we wondered how we could be of help now,” Hudson was quoted as saying.
Sanofi is also working on another COVID-19 vaccine candidate with the US company Translate Bio, which uses mRNA technology, similar to Pfizer / BioNTech. Phase I trials are expected to start this quarter.
Hudson confirmed in the interview that Sanofi is still involved in its two vaccine projects.