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Sanofi (SNY) to Manufacture BioNTech's Coronavirus Vaccine

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Sanofi (SNY - Free Report) announced that it has entered into an agreement with Germany’s BioNTech (BNTX - Free Report) to support the manufacture and supply of the latter’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is being co-developed with Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) .

Per the agreement, Sanofi will provide BioNTech access to its state-of-the-art production infrastructure and help in late-stage manufacturing to supply more than 125 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Europe. Initial supplies will begin from Sanofi’s production facilities in Frankfurt from the summer of 2021.

With this agreement, the companies are looking to increase vaccine accessibility.

We note that there is a worldwide urgency to get vaccinated at the earliest. However, access to the vaccine is quite limited, owing to production shortages. Resultantly, with its technology and facilities, Sanofi has decided to come to the aid of BioNTech and Pfizer in manufacturing their COVID-19 vaccine.

Please note that Pfizer/BioNTech’s mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, is approved for emergency/temporary/conditional use in several countries, including the United States and 27 EU member countries.

Shares of Sanofi have lost 3% in the past year against the industry’s rise of 9.5%.

price chart for SNY

We remind investors that Sanofi, along with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Free Report) , is developing an adjuvanted recombinant protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is currently being evaluated in a phase I/II study.

Sanofi’s recombinant protein-based technology is being combined with Glaxo’s pandemic adjuvant technology to develop the adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine.

In December 2020, the companies announced interim data from a phase I/II study, which showed that in adults aged 18 to 49 years, the vaccine candidate had an immune response comparable to patients who recovered from COVID-19. However, in older adults, the vaccine candidate demonstrated a low immune response, which may be due to an insufficient concentration of the antigen.

Sanofi/Glaxo plan to begin a new phase II study with an improved antigen formulation next month. If data from this study is found to be positive, the companies will start the phase III study in the second quarter of 2021.

Regulatory filing for the COVID-19 vaccine candidate is expected in the second half of this year with potential availability of the same expected in the fourth quarter of 2021.

This apart, Sanofi is jointly developing a novel mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 in partnership with Translate Bio. The mRNA vaccine induced high neutralizing antibody levels in preclinical studies. A phase I/II study on the same is expected to begin this quarter.

Zacks Rank

Sanofi currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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