Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi, is working with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (Barda) of the US Health Department to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus (now named Covid-19) from China.
Addressing the newest coronavirus a global health threat, the French drugmaker in a press release on Sunday said that it is working with Barda as it may provide the most meaningful results in protecting the public from this latest outbreak.
The press release also states that Sanofi plans to further investigate an advanced pre-clinical SARS vaccine candidate that could protect against Covid-19.
"Emerging global health threats like the 2019 novel coronavirus require a rapid response," said Barda Director Rick A Bright.
"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," he added.
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," the press release says.
At least a dozen drugmakers are working on vaccines or antivirals and other treatments to help those infected with the fast-spreading contagion.
Johnson & Johnson on February 11 said that it was collaborating with Barda to speed up the development of a coronavirus vaccine.