GlaxoSmithKline announced Thursday that it plans to manufacture 1 billion doses of its pandemic vaccine adjuvant system next year to support the development of adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine candidates. The company noted that the move comes after it completed a review of its global manufacturing operations and decided to invest in expanding the capacity.
According to GlaxoSmithKline, it has already started manufacturing the adjuvant at risk, with production at sites in the US, Canada and Europe. The drugmaker added that it is in discussions with governments and global institutions about funding for production and supply of the adjuvant. GlaxoSmithKline indicated that it has so far formed several collaborations with partners developing COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are suitable for use with an adjuvant, while discussions with other parties are ongoing.
More than one vaccine needed
"We believe that more than one vaccine will be needed to address this global pandemic and we are working with partners around the world to do so," remarked Roger Connor, president of global vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline. Connor added "we believe that our innovative pandemic adjuvant technology has the potential to help improve the efficacy and scale up of multiple COVID-19 vaccines."
Last month, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi announced that they will combine their technologies in an effort to develop an adjuvanted vaccine against COVID-19, with Phase I trials expected to start in the second half of the year. Under the collaboration, GlaxoSmithKline's pandemic adjuvant technology will be paired with Sanofi's S-protein COVID-19 antigen, which is based on recombinant DNA technology.
GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday cited the use of its pandemic adjuvant during the last influenza pandemic, which allowed the use of a reduced amount of vaccine protein required per dose, allowing more vaccine doses to be produced. The company said that it will make its adjuvant available through mechanisms that offer fair access for people across the world, whilst it does not expect to profit from sales of its portfolio of collaborations for COVID-19 vaccines made during the pandemic phase, as profit will be reinvested to support coronavirus-related research and long-term pandemic preparedness.
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