Sanofi ties up with US for virus vaccine


MUMBAI: Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of French pharma major Sanofi, on Wednesday said it will leverage its previous development work for a SARS vaccine to develop a potential vaccine for COVID-19 (coronavirus disease).
As part of the initiative, the company said it will collaborate with Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the US department of health and human services.
“Addressing a global health threat such as this newest coronavirus is going to take a collaborative effort, which is why we are working with BARDA to quickly advance a potential vaccine candidate,” global head of vaccines at Sanofi David Loew said in a statement.
While the company is lending its expertise where possible, it believes the collaboration with BARDA may provide the most meaningful results in protecting the public from this latest outbreak, he added.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease due to novel coronavirus.
In late-2002, the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus emerged and then largely disappeared by 2004.
Sanofi plans to further investigate an advanced pre-clinical SARS vaccine candidate that could protect against COVID-19.
The company said it will use its recombinant DNA platform to produce a 2019 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate.
The recombinant technology produces an exact genetic match to proteins found on the surface of the virus.
“Emerging global health threats like the 2019 novel coronavirus require a rapid response,” BARDA director Rick A Bright said.
He further said: “By expanding our partnership with Sanofi Pasteur and leveraging a licensed recombinant vaccine platform, we hope to speed development of a vaccine candidate to protect against a new virus.”
In December 2019, Sanofi had also entered into an agreement with BARDA to establish facilities in the US for the sustainable production of an adjuvanted recombinant vaccine for use in the event of an influenza pandemic and based on the same technology platform that will be used for the COVID-19 programme.
So far, around 2,000 people, mainly in mainland China, have lost their lives after falling sick due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

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