As Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline move ahead in advanced COVID-19 vaccine supply negotiations with the EU, AstraZeneca has signed into the union’s first finalized agreement.
The drugmaker on Friday pledged 400 million doses of its investigational COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222, at no profit for EU countries. The deal builds on a prior pact with the Inclusive Vaccines Alliance, which is led by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.
Under the new agreement, EU member countries can “access the vaccine in an equitable manner,” AZ says, and can redirect vaccines to other countries in Europe.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson and a partnership between Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline are in advanced in talks with the EU to supply 200 million doses and 300 million doses, respectively. Johnson & Johnson on Thursday said it’s concluded exploratory talks and is entering contract negotiations. The EU concluded early talks with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline late last month.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine is the farthest along in testing among that group of pharma giants. The company recently kicked off late-stage testing, and with success, could begin deliveries in late 2020. Johnson & Johnson has started human testing on its shot, while the Sanofi/GSK partnership team is in preclinical stages.
Aside from EU talks, all of the companies have inked major partnerships with the U.S. and the U.K., as well. AstraZeneca’s Friday deal is larger than other supply arrangements inked with governments to date, but it isn’t as big as the company’s licensing agreement with the Serum Institute of India for 1 billion doses to boost access in low- and middle-income countries
The drugmaker has also signed deals to help make the vaccine available in Japan, Russia, China, Mexico, Argentina and elsewhere.
But delivery of any doses will depend on successful late-stage testing. The company has started a phase 2/3 trial in the U.K., but it hasn’t yet completed enrollment, according to Politico reporter Zach Brennan.
By: Eric Sagonowsky
Source: Fierce Pharma
UCB (Euronext: UCB) and Zogenix (NASDAQ: ZGNX) announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which UCB would acquire Zogenix, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company commercializing and developing therapies for rare diseases.
argenx SE, a global immunology company committed to improving the lives of people suffering from severe autoimmune diseases, announced that Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has approved VYVGART™ (efgartigimod alfa) intravenous infusion for the treatment of adult patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) who do not have sufficient response to steroids or non-steroidal immunosuppressive therapies (ISTs).
GSK has rejected three offers from Unilever to buy GSK’s consumer health unit, the company said Saturday. The latest offer from the fellow U.K. consumer goods giant, received Dec. 20 for a total value of 50 billion pounds ($68 billion), “fundamentally undervalued” the business and its prospects, GSK said.