Sanofi to fill-finish up to 200m doses of Moderna’s COVID vaccine

Sanofi will supply fill-finish services for up to 200 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273.

French pharma giant Sanofi will use its site in Ridgefield, New Jersey to support manufacturing of Moderna’s cell-free COVID-19 vaccine, 1273, approved under Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency authorization.

According to the firm, it could help manufacture up to 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine starting from September 2021 through to April 2022.

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“While our utmost priority remains to advance our two COVID-19 vaccine programs, we recognize that an acceleration of COVID-19 vaccine deliveries is needed, at global level,” a spokesman from Sanofi told BioProcess Insider.

He continued: “Therefore where we have the right manufacturing capabilities, without compromising the delivery of our other essential medicines and vaccines, and where we believe we can make a difference, we are stepping forward to do more for the fight against COVID-19 and show solidarity across the industry. We take the opportunity to manufacture Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine because it is feasible, both from a technological and from a timing perspective, without impacting our two COVID-19 vaccines.”

Sanofi takes three

This is Sanofi’s third commitment to provide manufacturing support for COVID-19 vaccine production, with the firm stating that it is the only large manufacturer to back all three vaccine efforts.

Sanofi stepped up to deliver 125 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for the European Union in January from its fill-finish facility in Frankfurt, Germany. One month later, the firm entered into an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to produce its single-shot jab  at one of its manufacturing plants in France, with the aim of making approximately 12 million doses per month.

Sanofi’s COVID-19 candidates

Sanofi is also making its mark in the COVID-19 game with two vaccine candidates of its own:

Sanofi and Translate Bio extended their alliance in March 2020 to leverage mRNA vaccine technology to tackle COVID-19. The candidate entered a Phase I/II  clinical trial in March this year with interim results expected in in Q3, 2021.

Sanofi also partnered with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in April 2020 to potentially manufacture hundreds of millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate it is working on.

The vaccine is based on a version of the SARS-COV-2 S-protein made by Sanofi using its baculovirus expression platform, which is the same technology used to make the firms recombinant influenza product, Flublok.

Both firms confirmed the start of a new Phase II study of the adjuvanted recombinant protein COVID vaccine candidate in February. The trial is set to evaluate the vaccine’s immunogenicity, safety, and reactogenicity.

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