1 min read.Updated: 26 Apr 2020, 01:21 PM ISTBloomberg
Sanofi is working with rival GlaxoSmithKline Plc to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus
Sanofi has made proposals to major countries to address the manufacturing challenge
The head of one of the world’s biggest vaccine companies says Europe needs to wake up to the challenge of manufacturing enough coronavirus shots to halt the pandemic.
As others squabble over the timing and details of how to develop such a vaccine, Sanofi Chief Executive Officer Paul Hudson points further ahead to the continent’s ability to produce enough to meet demand.
“There is less concern about finding a successful vaccine than there is about making the volumes needed," Hudson told reporters on Friday. “The biggest untold story in Europe right now is the one about the number of doses."
Sanofi is working with rival GlaxoSmithKline Plc to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus, racing against other pharma giants such as Johnson & Johnson as well as nimbler biotechs such as Moderna Inc. Most of them aim to deliver a shot sometime next year.
The U.S. may be in a position to vaccinate first, according to Hudson, thanks to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a government agency that backs vaccine development. There’s no similar coordination in Europe.
“We don’t want to get to next summer and not have enough vaccines for Europe," Hudson said.
Sanofi has made proposals to major countries and the European Commission to address the manufacturing challenge, he said, without elaborating.
The volumes of vaccines required to fight Covid-19 are beyond the reach of many smaller companies and partnerships, according to Hudson. Sanofi’s and Glaxo’s efforts combined, he said, are “the best shot Europe has."