By Michael Erman and Carl O’Donnell
Jul 31 (.) – The US government will pay $ 2.1 billion to Sanofi SA and GlaxoSmithKline Plc for their COVID-19 vaccines to cover 50 million people and ensure testing and production, the companies said on Friday. .
Drug makers also announced that they are in advanced talks to supply up to 300 million doses of the experimental vaccine to the European Union.
The agreement is the largest signed by the United States in the framework of “Operation Speed Warp”, the White House initiative aimed at accelerating access to vaccines and treatments to combat COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The treatment announced by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense costs about $ 42 per inoculated person.
This figure is almost identical to the $ 40 per patient that the United States agreed to pay Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE when it signed a nearly $ 2 billion deal for 50 million treatments of that potential vaccine last week.
The Sanofi-GSK agreement is for 100 million doses, two per person, and gives the US government the option to buy an additional 500 million doses at an unspecified price. Sanofi and GSK plan to start clinical trials of the vaccine in September.
(Report by Michael Erman and Carl O’Donnell in New York; additional information by Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt and Deena Beasley in Los Angeles. Edited in Spanish by Rodrigo Charme)