The Advanced Purchase Agreement – drafted in July – was signed on Friday and represents the EU's second COVID-19 vaccine supply deal.
The EU will provide upfront funding to support the scale-up of Sanofi and GSK manufacturing capabilities in Europe. The antigen and final vaccine doses will be manufactured at Sanofi and GSK’s sites in Italy, Germany, Belgium and France.
The EU's second vaccine agreement
The vaccine candidate is based on the recombinant protein-based technology used by Sanofi to produce an influenza vaccine, and GSK’s established adjuvant technology.
A Phase 1/2 clinical study was launched earlier this month, with a Phase 3 study anticipated to commence by the end of 2020. Sanofi and GSK hope to request regulatory approval in the first half of 2021.
The companies anticipate being able to reach total production globally of up to one billion doses per year.
The EU has signed one other contract for COVID-19 vaccines – that with AstraZeneca in August for 300 million doses - and continues to discuss similar agreements with Johnson & Johnson (200 million doses with the possibility for a further 200 million), CureVac (225 million doses), Moderna (80 million doses with the option for 80 million more) and BioNTech/Pfizer (up to 300 million doses).
The European Vaccines Strategy – adopted by the Commission on June 17, 2020 - aims to secure high-quality, safe, effective and affordable vaccines for all European citizens within 12 to 18 months.
Advance Purchase Agreements with vaccine producers reserve or give Member States the right to buy a given number of doses for a certain price; as and when a vaccine becomes available.