Sanofi To Develop SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine

Sanofi Pasteur will deploy its recombinant DNA platform to produce a recombinant 2019 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate
dipiction of coronavirus surrounding the earth

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) announced its engagement of Sanofi Pasteur to use its recombinant DNA platform to produce a recombinant 2019 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate.

The press release published by HHS on February 18, 2020, said ‘the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of ASPR, will provide expertise and reallocated funds to support the vaccine’s development by Sanofi’s vaccine division.

This is good news since there is currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine for novel coronavirus infections.

Sanofi’s egg-free, recombinant DNA technology is reported to produce an exact genetic match to proteins of the virus.

The protein’s DNA will be combined with DNA from a virus harmless to humans and used to rapidly produce large quantities of antigen which stimulate the immune system to protect against the virus. 

The antigens will be separated and collected from these cells and purified to create working stocks of vaccine for advanced development.

“Flexibility and scalability are cornerstones of rapid response to an emerging infectious disease,” said BARDA Director Rick A. Bright, Ph.D., in this press release.

“Using this (Sanofi) proven technology, we can pivot immediately to address this new global health threat. Our goal is a licensed vaccine to provide long-term health security against this latest virus and prevent future coronavirus outbreaks.”

BARDA has worked with Sanofi since 2004 and in 2009 began collaborating with Protein Sciences of Meridian, Connecticut, which Sanofi purchased in 2017, to develop a recombinant technology with the flexibility to make millions of doses of vaccine quickly in an influenza pandemic.

In 2016, BARDA added this vaccine to the U.S. National Pre-pandemic Influenza Vaccine Stockpile. 

BARDA has continued working with Sanofi on pandemic vaccine development, and in December 2019 the partners began focusing on increasing manufacturing capacity for recombinant influenza vaccines in the USA.

This expanded collaboration with Sanofi is BARDA’s 2nd program to focus on developing a novel coronavirus vaccine candidate in the past few weeks.

On February 11, 2020, Janssen Pharmaceutical announced it intends to expedite its investigational coronavirus vaccine program through expanded collaboration with the BARDA.

BARDA also is working with counterparts across the government, including within HHS and with the Department of Defense. 

To obtain information about any potential products in development in the private sector that could be used in responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. government launched a single point-of-entry website for innovators and product developers to submit brief descriptions of their diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and other products or technologies relevant to this new virus.

Additionally, BARDA also opened an easy broad agency announcement, an EZ-BAA, specific to diagnostics that utilize platforms already cleared by the FDA, with a viable plan to meet requirements for the FDA to consider Emergency Use Authorization within 12 weeks of an award.

The HHS works to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans, providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. To learn more about preparing for and responding to public health emergencies, from new infectious diseases to natural disasters and bioterrorism, visiti the HHS public health emergency website.

For more information on partnering with BARDA on developing medical countermeasures, visit Medical Counter Measures.

To find breaking news regarding the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 disease, please visit Coronavirus Today.

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development news is published by Precision Vaccinations.