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Sanofi will help Pfizer package vaccine

Failing to have found an anti-covid formula, the pharmaceutical group is ready to put its production chains at the service of the German laboratory.

Failing to have found an anti-covid formula, the pharmaceutical group is ready to put its production chains at the service of the German laboratory.

(AFP) – Vaccines, there are various compositions. But it is the tools of mass production that are lacking in the selected laboratories. Also, the French laboratory Sanofi will bottle that of its competitors Pfizer and BioNTech. Enough to ensure the packaging of more than 100 million doses this year, all destined for the European Union (and therefore Luxembourg).

The announcement of the boost was made by Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson after the French government repeatedly asked him to make its production lines available to its competitors. In an interview published on the website of Figaro, Mr. Hudson explains that Sanofi will use its German factory in Frankfurt to package the vaccine, which will be supplied to it by its competitors from July. “This production site being located near the headquarters of BioNTech (in Mainz, Editor’s note), this will make things easier”, argues the boss of the French group.

This agreement comes at a time when several laboratories are encountering difficulties in maintaining the high speeds necessary in order to respect the contracts they have signed. Just last week, it was the turn of Britain’s AstraZeneca, whose vaccine has yet to be approved in the European Union, to indicate that its deliveries would be smaller than expected in the first quarter, angering Brussels.

On Tuesday, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen put pressure on manufacturers by saying that they must “honor their obligations”. “Europe has invested billions to develop the first vaccines and create a real global common good. Now companies must keep their promises, ”she argued in a video intervention at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In response, the CEO of AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot, assured that his group “certainly does not take vaccines to Europeans to sell them elsewhere at a profit” but highlighted production concerns to be resolved.

Sanofi’s delay

Brussels announced at the beginning of January a new agreement with the Pfizer-BioNTech duo, providing for a firm pre-order of 200 million additional doses of their anti-Covid vaccine, with an option for 100 million more. This was in addition to the contract already concluded for 300 million doses of the vaccine, authorized since December 21 by the European Commission.

While several variants of the virus responsible for Covid-19 have been identified (including 36 cases of the British variant in the Grand Duchy) and questions remain concerning the effectiveness of the vaccines marketed against them, the French laboratory is still developing a vaccine based on messenger RNA technology. But not before the end of the first quarter of 2021 a priori.


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