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The pressure to create a coronavirus vaccine is increasing day by day, but it will take time for a safe vaccine to enter the market.

USA TODAY

The United States announced on Friday that it would pay French pharmaceutical company Sanofi and Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline up to $ 2.1 billion to test and produce 100 million doses of experimental coronavirus vaccine.

More than half of the money will support further development and early-stage clinical trials to ensure it is safe and effective. The rest will pay for the first 100 million doses, with an option for another 500 million.

Most of the $ 2.1 billion will go to Sanofi, which has made the candidate for the vaccine. GlaxoSmithKline has made a booster that improves the way the body responds to it.

The deal is part of a White House-led Warp Speed ​​operation aimed at getting a vaccine to stop SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Trump administration’s initiative has already spent more than $ 8 billion on experimental vaccines that may or may not make it to the finish line.

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They are produced “at risk” – before obtaining a license. If any of the vaccines are not approved, the stored doses will be destroyed.

The companies are working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to increase their manufacturing capabilities in the United States.

Sanofi’s experimental vaccine uses DNA and a never-released experimental vaccine against the SARS virus. Phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials of the candidate vaccine will begin in September, said Thomas Triumph, global leader of Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi’s vaccine wing.

The potential vaccine could begin phase 3 trials, the last phase before licensing, by the end of 2020. If it proves to be safe and effective, companies expect to seek regulatory approval in the first half of 2021.

This is the fourth deal in which the federal government has pledged to buy doses if companies develop successful coronavirus vaccines.

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Dr Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that the development of a coronavirus vaccine was moving at a rapid pace. Foci spoke as President Donald Trump voiced strong support Tuesday against the denied use of malaria as a cure. coronavirus. (July 28)

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According to an agreement reached in May, the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca will receive $ 1.2 billion for 300 million doses. A $ 1.95 billion deal was announced in July with US-based Pfizer for 100 million doses. And Maryland-based Novavax announced in July that it would receive $ 1.6 billion from the government to fund development, testing and 100 million doses from its vaccine candidate.

“The portfolio of vaccines being assembled for Operation Warp Speed ​​increases the chances that we will have at least one safe, effective vaccine immediately after the end of this year,” Health and Human Services Minister Alex Hazard said in a written statement.

The latest deal has “the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people,” he said.

Sanofi and GSK said they are committed to making the vaccine available worldwide and building production capacity to produce up to 1 billion doses a year.

The candidate for the DNA-based vaccine is one of the two companies he is working on. The other is a messenger RNA vaccine, the same type developed by Modern.

For the second, they anticipate the start of the Phase 1 trial by the end of 2020 and plan to have a vaccine ready to begin regulatory approval in the second half of 2021, the companies said.

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