French drugmaker Sanofi and Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline have launched clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine.
The pair hope to reach the final stage of testing by December.
If successful, they aim to get the vaccine approved in the first half of next year.
The trial involves 440 adults at 11 locations in the U.S.
It will test a protein-based vaccine similar to one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza shots.
That will be mixed with an adjuvant, or booster, made by GSK.
The two companies are scaling up manufacturing with a view to producing one billion doses in 2021.
They’re in talks to supply the EU with 300 million shots.
And they also plan to supply COVAX - a vaccine and treatment allocation plan led by the World Health Organization, which aims to fairly distribute shots around the globe.
Drugmakers and government agencies worldwide are racing to make a Covid-19 vaccine.
Sanofi and GSK aren’t leading that race, with several candidate drugs in late-stage testing.
However, the pair feel their huge experience in vaccines gives them an advantage.
Sanofi is also working on another version, using different technology, with U.S. company Translate Bio.