Sanofi has inked an agreement to help with the production and supply of 125 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in Europe.
According to the agreement, Sanofi (SNYNF) will provide BioNTech access to its infrastructure and expertise to manufacture over 125 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Europe. Supply will initially be provided from the French drugmaker’s production facilities in Frankfurt starting this summer.
“Although vaccination campaigns have started around the world, the ability to get shots into arms is being limited by lower-than-expected supplies and delayed approval timelines owing to production shortages,” said Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson. “We have made the decision to support BioNTech and Pfizer in manufacturing their COVID-19 vaccine in order to help address global needs, given that we have the technology and facilities to do so.”
At the same time, Sanofi cautioned that its priority will be to continue to develop its own two COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
Sanofi has partnered with GSK on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate using the same recombinant protein-based manufacturing technology as one of its seasonal influenza vaccines. Phase 1/2 study results of the vaccine candidate showed an immune response in adults aged 18 to 49 years, but a low immune response in older adults likely due to an “insufficient concentration of the antigen.”
Sanofi and GSK plan to kick off a new Phase 2 study in February, which will test the vaccine candidate with an improved antigen formulation in order to attain high-level immune response across all age groups. If the data should prove to be positive, a global Phase 3 study could be scheduled for the second quarter of 2021. Upon receipt of positive results from the trial, regulatory submissions could be targeted for the second half of 2021, with potential availability of doses in the fourth quarter of this year, Sanofi said.
Shares of Sanofi have retreated 2.3% over the past year. Looking ahead, the average analyst price target of $117.32 reflects about 20% upside potential over the coming 12 months.
Wall Street analysts are cautiously optimistic about the stock. The Moderate Buy consensus is based on 10 Buy ratings, 3 Hold ratings and 1 Sell rating. (See Sanofi stock analysis on TipRanks)
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