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US sinks another $2.1 billion into a potential vaccine

FILE - In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Neal Browning receives a shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. The vaccine by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc., generated antibodies similar to those seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19 in a study of volunteers who were given either a low or medium dose. Photo: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File. FILE - In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Neal Browning receives a shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. The vaccine by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc., generated antibodies similar to those seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19 in a study of volunteers who were given either a low or medium dose.

Associated Press
Created: July 31, 2020 10:56 AM

Pharma giants GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur have announced they will supply 100 million doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine to the United States as governments buy up supplies in hopes something will work.

The United States will pay up to $2.1 billion "for development including clinical trials, manufacturing, scale-up and delivery of its vaccine,'' the companies said in a statement. Sanofi will get the bulk of the funds.

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The U.S. government has a further option for the supply of an additional 500 million doses longer term as part of its Operation Warp Speed program. 

"The portfolio of vaccines being assembled for Operation Warp Speed increases the odds that we will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year," U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. "Today's investment supports the Sanofi and GSK adjuvanted product all the way through clinical trials and manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people."


More from KSTP: 

Medical expert provides context on research into existing vaccines and COVID-19 protection


Earlier this week the British government signed a deal for 60 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine that could start to be rolled out in the first half of next year. 

Britain's GSK and France's Sanofi's vaccine prospect is based on the existing DNA-based technology that is used to produce Sanofi's seasonal flu vaccine. It is one of several vaccines in development.

"The global need for a vaccine to help prevent COVID-19 is massive, and no single vaccine or company will be able to meet the global demand alone," said Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president of Sanofi Pasteur. 

The companies said discussions are ongoing with the European Commission.


(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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