Sanofi joins forces with US Department of Health and Human Services to advance a novel coronavirus vaccine

Work with Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will utilise Sanofi’s well-established recombinant technology platform to expedite a potential COVID-19 vaccine

Sanofi, US Department, Human Services, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, BARDA, COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccine, DNA platform, Rick A. Bright

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi, will leverage previous development work for a SARS vaccine which may unlock a fast path forward for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Sanofi will collaborate with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, expanding the company’s long-standing partnership with BARDA.

COVID-19 belongs to a family of coronaviruses that can cause respiratory disease. In late 2002, the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus emerged and then largely disappeared by 2004. Sanofi plans to further investigate an advanced pre-clinical SARS vaccine candidate that could protect against COVID-19.

“Addressing a global health threat such as this newest coronavirus is going to take a collaborative effort, which is why we are working with BARDA to quickly advance a potential vaccine candidate,” said David Loew, Global Head of Vaccines at Sanofi. “While we are lending our expertise where possible, we believe the collaboration with BARDA may provide the most meaningful results in protecting the public from this latest outbreak.”


Sanofi will use its recombinant DNA platform to produce a 2019 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate.  The recombinant technology produces an exact genetic match to proteins found on the surface of the virus. The DNA sequence encoding this antigen will be combined into the DNA of the baculovirus expression platform, the basis of Sanofi’s licensed recombinant influenza product, and used to rapidly produce large quantities of the coronavirus antigen which will be formulated to stimulate the immune system to protect against the virus. 

“Emerging global health threats like the 2019 novel coronavirus require a rapid response,” said BARDA Director Rick A. Bright, Ph.D.  “By expanding our partnership with Sanofi Pasteur and leveraging a licensed recombinant vaccine platform, we hope to speed development of a vaccine candidate to protect against a new virus.”

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