LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is close to reaching a deal of 500 million pounds ($ 624 million) with Sanofi and Glaxo Smithkline to get 60 million doses of a possible vaccine the two companies will develop to prevent Covid-19, the Sunday Times reported.
The newspaper added that Britain was considering the option to purchase the vaccine if it is proven to be effective in human trials that are scheduled to start in September.
Sanofi was not immediately available to comment on the report, while a spokesman for Glaxo Smithkline declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for the British Ministry of Business, which is in charge of supplying Britain with possible vaccines for Covid-19, said talks were underway with various parties to obtain the vaccine, but did not confirm whether it included the Sanofi and Glaxo Smithkline project.
“The government’s vaccine team is engaged in active engagement with a wide range of companies in the UK and abroad to negotiate vaccines,” she added.
“The appropriate announcement of these arrangements will take place upon completion and signature of agreements with any of these companies,” she added.
Sanofi is working on two possible vaccines for Covid-19, one of which uses auxiliary drug produced by GlaxoSmithKline to enhance its efficacy.
The timeline for the company’s clinical trials is late compared to Moderna and Oxford University in cooperation with AstraZeneca and the Pew In Tech and Pfizer alliance, whose projects have made headlines for their transition to human trials soon, possibly in March.
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline said they prioritize quality over speed in developing a vaccine.
($ 1 = 0.8011 pounds)