Sanofi and GSK have agreed with the UK to supply up to 60 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, according to a statement by the pharma giants on Wednesday. 

“With our partner GSK, we are pleased to cooperate with the UK government as well as several other countries and global organizations as part of our ongoing efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine and make it available as quickly as possible,” said Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and global head of Sanofi Pasteur.

They will seek regulatory approval by the first half of 2021, if the data from clinical trials are positive.

“While this progress is truly remarkable, the fact remains that there are no guarantees,” UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma said.

“It is important that we secure early access to a diverse range of promising vaccine candidates, like GSK and Sanofi, to increase our chances of finding one that works so we can protect the public and save lives.”

Sanofi also announced that discussions were ongoing with global organizations, the US, the EU Commission, France and Italy on supply of the vaccine.

Britain previously secured access to 30 million doses of the experimental BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, and another deal for 60 million doses of the potential Valneva vaccine.

No vaccine has yet been approved for COVID-19 as the global race to find a vaccine continues.

The novel coronavirus has killed more than 654,000 people worldwide, with over 16.4 million confirmed cases, since first appearing in China last December.

The virus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions, with the US, Brazil and India are currently the countries hardest hit in the world.

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