By Michael Erman and Carl ODonnell
July 31 (Reuters) – The U.S. government will pay $2.1 billion to Sanofi SA and GlaxoSmithKline Plc for COVID-19 vaccines to cover 50 million individuals and to finance the drug makers testing and manufacturing, the companies stated on Friday.
The award is the most significant yet from Operation Warp Speed, the White House initiative intended at accelerating access to treatments and vaccines to eliminate COVID-19, the breathing disease triggered by the novel coronavirus.
The deal, announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense, works out at a cost of around $42 per person inoculated.
That is nearly similar to the $40 per client the U.S. consented to pay Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE when it tattooed an almost $2 billion offer for 50 million courses of that prospective vaccine last week.
The Sanofi-GSK offer is for 100 million doses, at two per individual, and gives the government a choice to purchase an extra 500 million doses at an unspecified rate. Sanofi and GSK strategy to start medical trials for the vaccine in September.
Sanofi executive Clement Lewin stated the companies had not yet concurred with the government on a specific cost for the additional dosages.
GSK stated in a statement that majority of the overall financing will enter into additional development of the vaccine, consisting of clinical trials, with the rest utilized for a production ramp-up and shipment of dosages.
The 2 business inoculation is combination of a vaccine based on Sanofis influenza shots and a complementary innovation from GSK called an adjuvant, created to improve the vaccines effectiveness.
Sanofi will receive the bulk of the profits from the deal.
It marks the second agreement for the Franco-British pairs vaccine prospect after they concurred previously today to supply 60 million doses to the British government.
Reuters reported last week that Pfizers deal was anticipated to set a prices benchmark for future deals in between drugmakers and federal governments.
Moderna Inc and Pfizer began two 30,000-subject trials of COVID-19 vaccines on Monday that could clear the method for regulatory approval and use by the end of 2020. (Additional reporting by Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; Editing by Peter Henderson, Grant McCool and Jan Harvey).