Sanofi and Glaxo join the Covid-19 vaccine chase

Another day, another Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Sanofi and Glaxosmithkline have just started a phase I/II trial of their project, an adjuvanted recombinant protein-based vaccine. The timelines appear to have slipped for the asset, which is now due to begin phase III in December – but it could benefit from taking a tried-and-tested approach versus more experimental candidates. Meanwhile, phase I data with Novavax’s nanoparticle vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, published in the NEJM yesterday, confirm results previously reported in a preprint. The idea that a Covid-19 vaccine could get emergency use authorisation soon is gaining momentum, with the CDC reportedly telling US health officials yesterday to prepare for a vaccine by early November. This came after the FDA last week scheduled an advisory committee meeting for October 22 to discuss the general development of Covid-19 vaccines. There are concerns that a fast-track approach could compromise safety in particular, and lead to further public mistrust around vaccines. However, there might soon be enough data to make an informed decision on the more advanced candidates: Moderna has now enrolled 17,500 patients in its phase III trial, and Pfizer’s chief executive, Albert Bourla, said today that data from BNT162b2’s pivotal study will be available next month.

Selected vaccines in development for Covid-19
      US Warp Speed financing
Company/org Vaccine Status R&D Dose orders
Gamaleya Research Inst Gam-COVID-Vac Ph1 completed; approved in Russia - -
Moderna/NIAID mRNA-1273 Ph3 under way (n=30,000) Up to $955m $1.50bn (100m doses)
Biontech/Pfizer BNT162b2 Ph3 under way (n=29,481) - $1.95bn (100m doses)
Biontech/Pfizer BNT162b1 Ph1 data reported
Astrazeneca/ Uni of Oxford AZD1222 Ph3 started Aug 2020 (n=30,000) $1.20bn (300m doses; split not specified)
Cansino Biologics Ad5-nCoV Ph2 under way - -
Curevac CVnCoV Ph2 started Aug 2020 - -
Johnson & Johnson Ad26.COV2-S Ph3 to start 5 Sep 2020 (n=60,000) $456m $1.00bn (100m doses)
Novavax NVX-CoV2373 Ph2 started Aug 2020; Ph3 to start 15 Oct 2020 (n=30,000) Up to $1.60bn (100m doses; split not specified)
GSK/Sanofi ? Ph1/2 started Sep 2020, ph3 to start by YE'20. $1.10bn* $1.00bn (100m doses)
Inovio INO-4800 Immune responses claimed in ph1 - -
Dynavax/Clover/GSK SCB-2019 Ph1 started Jun 2020 - -
Imperial College LNP-nCoVsaRNA Ph1 started Jun 2020 - -
Vaxine Covax19 Ph1 started Jun 2020 - -
GSK/Medicago (M Tanabe) ? Ph1 started Jul 2020 - -
Anges AG0301-COVID19 Ph1 started Jun 2020 - -
Zydus Cadila ZyCoV-D Ph1 started Jul 2020 - -
Genexine GX-19 Ph1 started Jul 2020    
Arcturus ARCT-021 Ph1 started Aug 2020 - -
Merck & Co (ex Themis) V591/TMV-083 Ph1 started Aug 2020 - -
ReiThera  GRAd-COV2 Ph1 started Aug 2020 - -
IMV DPX-COVID-19 Ph1 to start "summer" 2020 - -
Translate Bio/Sanofi ? Ph1 to start Q4 2020 - -
Merck & Co/Iavi V590 Ph1 to start 2020 $38m -
Source: WHO list, EvaluatePharma & company statements. *award is for up to $2.1bn, "more than half" of which is for development.

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