GlaxoSmithKline plc GSK announced that it plans to produce 1 billion doses of its pandemic vaccine adjuvant in 2021 that can be used for the development of COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are suitable for use with an adjuvant. The pandemic adjuvant can reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose which, in turn, will allow more vaccine doses to be produced. It can also increase the immune response of the vaccines, thereby providing better immunity.
Glaxo has formed several collaborations to make its pandemic adjuvant technology available to partners, including with scientific partners in North America, Europe and China, who are making adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Glaxo has decided to enhance its manufacturing capacity at sites in Europe and North America which will allow it to make 1 billion doses of the adjuvant. Glaxo is in discussion with several governments and global institutions to fund its development of the adjuvant.
Glaxo’s shares were up 1.5% on Thursday in response to the news. So far this year, Glaxo’s shares have declined 11.6% compared with the industry’s 3.4% decline.
Glaxo is making several efforts to develop vaccines, antibodies and drugs to combat the COVID-19 disease, which has infected more than 5.9 million and killed more than 3,60,000 people globally.
Glaxo has separately collaborated with Sanofi SNY to combine their innovative technologies to develop an adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine candidate is expected to enter clinical studies in the second half of 2020.
Last month, Glaxo signed an agreement with Vir Biotechnology VIR to enter into a collaboration to develop antibody treatments for coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition, Glaxo said it will make an equity investment of $250 million in Vir’s stock to gain rights to the latter’s unique antibody platform technology.
Several other pharma/biotech companies are also speeding up efforts to make a vaccine for COVID-19. Novavax, Moderna MRNA, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer and partner BioNTech have already initiated human/clinical studies on a coronavirus vaccine. Several other vaccine candidates are in pre-clinical stage of development.
Glaxo currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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