Sanofi Agrees to Help Make Doses of Moderna’s Covid Vaccine

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Sanofi will help make up to 200 million doses of Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine, the French drugmaker’s third agreement to throw its weight behind another company’s shot during the pandemic.

Sanofi will perform “fill-and-finish” work for Moderna’s messenger RNA shot in New Jersey starting in September, it said in a statement Monday. That entails putting already prepared vaccine solution into vials and packaging it -- a key step that Sanofi is also performing for the vaccines from the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE alliance and Johnson & Johnson.

“We have been mobilizing on multiple fronts and we showed solidarity across the industry,” said Chief Executive Officer Paul Hudson, who credited President Joe Biden’s administration for helping forge the deal.

Vial-filling capacity has been a bottleneck for Moderna. Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revised the company’s authorization to let it ship more doses of the vaccine in each vial. The Sanofi contribution could be particularly useful if booster shots are needed. Moderna is testing boosters at half the dose of its existing 100-microgram shot, which would increase supplies but still require more vials.

Sanofi previously agreed to help make 125 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the European Union and about 12 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson shot per month at a plant in France.

The company also has two of its own Covid shots in clinical trials. The more advanced candidate, relying on the same technology as Sanofi’s flu shots, could become available this fall after facing months of delays. The other is a messenger RNA shot that may be available by early next year.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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