Situated outside of Lyon, Sanofi's facility covers vaccine research, development and production. It produces vaccines against diseases such as diphtheria, typhoid, tetanus, polio and whooping cough.
Sanofi's Marcy l'Etoile facility will join other French COVID-19 vaccine production sites coming online in the coming weeks and months.
Moderna's vaccine will be produced from Recipharm's Monts facility next month; Pfizer/BioNTech's from Delpharm's Saint-Rémy-sur-Avre from April; and CureVac's from Fareva's sites in May.
Janssen’s viral vector vaccine recently reported 66% efficacy at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, providing protection against multiple virus variants, including the South African B.1.351 lineage. The vaccine only requires a single dose; while most authorized vaccines require two doses.
South Africa started distributing the vaccine to health workers last week; while J&J’s request for Emergency Use Authorisation in the US is due to be considered by the FDA on Friday. In Europe, the company has submitted an application for Conditional Marketing Authorisation.
Sanofi is the world's third largest vaccine manufacturer in value terms, with three sites in France and 12 internationally.
The company has also agreed to produce doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from its facilities in Frankfurt, covering more than 125 million doses as of this summer.
Sanofi, meanwhile, has two vaccine candidates in development: a recombinant protein-based vaccine with GSK; and a mRNA vaccine in partnership with Translate Bio.
Paul Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi. “While our priority remains advancing our two COVID-19 vaccine programs, we recognize there are opportunities to increase supply and expand access to COVID-19 vaccines. As such, without compromising other essential medicines and vaccines, and where we have the right manufacturing capabilities, we are stepping forward to show solidarity in the industry and continue doing our part in the fight against COVID-19.”