At Sanofi, our purpose is to discover breakthrough medicines and vaccines to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. This drive to transform the practice of medicine has taken on increased urgency for everyone in the Sanofi family since the emergence of COVID-19 across the world.
Sanofi is rapidly responding to the evolving challenge of COVID-19. Our responsibility to our employees and their families, patients and caregivers, health care providers, public health officials and communities around the world drives us to act on our long history of innovation to bring cutting edge science and dedicated people to face this threat. We would like to take this opportunity to share our approach to this crisis.
We Are Leveraging Our Expertise in Vaccine Development
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi, is leveraging previous development work for a SARS vaccine as part of our goal to unlock a fast path forward for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Sanofi is collaborating with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, expanding the company’s longstanding partnership with BARDA. That partnership includes an agreement signed last year to establish state of the art facilities in the United States for the sustainable production of an adjuvanted recombinant vaccine for use in the event of an influenza pandemic and based on the same technology platform that will be used for the COVID-19 program.
Additionally, Sanofi Pasteur and Translate Bio , a clinical-stage messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics company, are collaborating to develop a novel mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. This collaboration leverages an existing agreement between the two companies to develop mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases, including COVID-19. We are combining our deep vaccine expertise and support with Translate Bio’s mRNA platform to discover, design, and manufacture a number of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates.
Most recently, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced their collaboration in the fight against COVID-19. The companies have signed a letter of intent to develop an adjuvanted vaccine for COVID-19, using innovative technology from both companies, to help address the ongoing pandemic. Through this collaboration, Sanofi will contribute its S-protein COVID-19 antigen (the protein that stimulates the body’s immune response against the virus), which is based on recombinant DNA technology, and GSK will contribute its proven pandemic adjuvant technology (ingredient added to enhance the immune response, and which may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose). The use of an adjuvant can be of particular importance in a pandemic situation since it may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose, allowing more vaccine doses to be produced and therefore contributing to protect more people. The combination of a protein-based antigen together with an adjuvant is well-established and used in a number of vaccines available today. The companies plan to initiate phase I clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and, subject to regulatory considerations, aim to complete the development required for availability by the second half of 2021.
We Are Researching Existing Products as Potential Treatments for COVID-19
Sanofi is supporting clinical trials to determine whether two of its medicines can help patients with COVID-19. One option is currently being tested to evaluate its impact on symptoms in patients with severe COVID-19 in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Canada and Russia, with a second trial led by Regeneron for patients in the US.
The trial outside the US is expected to enroll approximately 300 patients and may extend to additional countries.
In the US, the trial began in medical centres in New York, one of the epicentres of the US outbreak. The first phase evaluated the impact of the drug on fever and the need for supplemental oxygen; and the second, larger part, evaluated the need for mechanical ventilation, oxygen and/or hospitalization, and the ability to prevent death.
The second product is one of several medicines being investigated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its international clinical trial to find a solution for COVID-19. To support this trial, Sanofi has launched two additional clinical studies and is also providing the medicine to some participating investigator sites and other independent research centres.
In tandem, Sanofi’s industrial affairs teams are managing available stocks and progressively increasing production to ensure supply continuity for patients receiving the treatment under current indications and preparing for the future should the treatment option prove to be safe and effective in COVID-19 patients.
We are working to develop a home testOur most recent effort to fight COVID-19 is the development of an over the counter, self-testing solution, in collaboration with California startup, Luminostics.
Sanofi’s goal is to provide a smartphone-based solution that can be carried out at home without a healthcare professional or laboratory tests, lowering the risk of catching and transmitting the virus for all involved.
The test, designed to detect the COVID-19 virus from respiratory samples. It is based on a combination of Sanofi’s clinical research testing experience and Luminostics’ unique technology that uses smartphone’s optics. Controlled by an iOS/Android that comes with instructions on how to take a specimen and process it, the phone displays the test results and if necessary, connects users with a telehealth service
We Are Focused on Patient Needs
As a company, we take the health and safety of our patients seriously. We are continuing our work in providing resources and support to patients and their healthcare team. We remain focused on ensuring that those who need our medicines have access to them.
We also remain committed to continuing our patient support program services without interruption. For more information on our patient support programs, please visit here.
We Are Working to Avoid Shortages
We are working to maintain the supply of all of our medicines and vaccines through close collaboration with our suppliers throughout the world. At this time, Sanofi does not anticipate shortages for patients resulting from the COVID-19 situation.
We Are Ensuring the Safety of Our Employees
Our priority has been the safety and the health of our employees and their families around the world by implementing science-based recommendations to stop the spread of COVID-19. Sanofi activated our global crisis committee to help prevent employee exposure to the virus while actively monitoring the potential impact on our activities. Local crisis teams are also working in different countries to manage local realities in closer proximity to employees.
Sanofi is continually assessing the global health implications of the COVID-19 virus – and our role in addressing this challenge – and we remain committed to working closely with global health organizations and governments to minimize the risk and impact of COVID-19.