Almost a week after it funded Moderna with $472 million, the US government made another investment, this time to Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline.
The two pharmaceutical companies will receive $2.1 billion to develop and deliver 100 million of the potential COVID-19 vaccine. The deal gives the US government the possibility to buy another 500 million doses at an undisclosed price. The current cost per patient is $42, and by the deal, each patient will receive two doses.
According to a joint statement released by the companies, more than half of the funding will be used to develop the vaccine and further the necessary processes, including the delivery of doses.
For the American government, this is the most significant payment made under "Operation Warp Speed," designed to accelerate access to treatments and vaccines against Coronavirus.
However, the Franco-British pair is at its second contract of this sort, after it made a deal with the British government to deliver 60 million vaccine doses.
Currently, there are more than 150 vaccines under development, out of which 25 are in clinical trials, according to WHO (World Health Organization). The magnitude of this virus made the pharmaceutical companies do the impossible, time-wise speaking, as the development of a vaccine usually takes about a decade. The record for the fastest vaccine development has been set at around four years. The immunization against mumps received the green light in 1967.
At the moment of writing, Sanofi stock price is trading lower by 0.04%, while GSK gained more than 1%.
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Sources: cnbc.com, reuters.com