Sanofi to Help Make Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine for U.S.
By Peter Loftus
Drugmaker Sanofi SA has signed an agreement to help manufacture
as many as 200 million doses of Moderna Inc.'s Covid-19 vaccine in
the U.S. starting in September, Sanofi said Monday.
France-based Sanofi said it would fill vials and finish
packaging for Moderna's vaccine at Sanofi's plant in Ridgefield,
N.J. A spokesman for Sanofi said the finished doses of Moderna's
vaccine would be for the U.S. supply in an agreement that runs
through April 2022.
The agreement is the latest adding manufacturing capacity to
increase supply. It is also a fresh example of industry
collaboration in the effort to quickly scale up global production
of Covid-19 vaccines.
Novartis AG and Merck & Co. are among those that have formed
agreements to help make other companies' Covid-19 shots.
Moderna, of Cambridge, Mass., plans to deliver a cumulative
total of 300 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine for use in the
U.S. by the end of July, which is expected to help meet President
Biden's goal of vaccinating the majority of American adults by
Pfizer Inc. with partner BioNTech SE and Johnson & Johnson
also are supplying vaccine doses to help meet that goal. The
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are given as two doses a few weeks
apart, while J&J's is a single shot.
Because Sanofi's contribution isn't due to start until
September, the Moderna vaccine doses it helps make might be
directed toward vaccinating children under 18 years old, assuming
the vaccine becomes authorized for them, or for booster shots if
they are needed to sustain immunity among adults.
It is also possible the Sanofi capacity could be used for
Moderna's modified Covid-19 vaccines that are targeting newer
variants of the coronavirus. Moderna is testing one such vaccine in
a clinical trial, and has said it might be able to file for
regulatory authorization of the shot in the third quarter.
A spokesman for Moderna said the company can't specify which
products Sanofi will handle or in which proportions.
For the U.S. supply, Moderna manufactures the drug substance --
the main component of the vaccine -- at its plant outside Boston
and at contract manufacturer Lonza Ltd.'s plant in New
The company has previously lined up other manufacturing partners
to help with fill-finish of doses, including Catalent Inc. and
Baxter International Inc.
Moderna has a separate supply chain for its Covid-19 vaccine
outside the U.S., including a Lonza plant in Switzerland. This
supply chain has recently experienced problems that caused Moderna
to reduce the doses it expects to deliver to Canada, the U.K. and a
number of other countries in the second quarter.
For Sanofi, Moderna's shot is the third Covid-19 vaccine the
French company will help manufacture. It previously agreed to help
make more than 125 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in
Europe. And it will help make about 12 million doses a month of
J&J's Covid shot in Europe.
Sanofi also is developing its own potential Covid-19 vaccines,
one in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline PLC and another with
Translate Bio Inc.
Write to Peter Loftus at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 26, 2021 07:14 ET (11:14 GMT)
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