British pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline and German vaccine developer CureVac announced a collaboration on Wednesday to create next generation COVID-19 vaccines to combat emerging variants of the coronavirus.
“We believe that next generation vaccines will be crucial in the continued fight against COVID-19,’’ GSK chief executive Emma Walmsley said, noting that the joint venture builds on an existing partnership between the two companies.
They plan to combine their “scientific expertise in mRNA and vaccine development to advance and accelerate the development of new COVID-19 vaccine candidates,’’ Mr Walmsley said.
In addition, GSK is to support CureVac in producing its first generation vaccines with the manufacture of 100 million doses in 2021, according to a joint statement.
CureVac’s current COVID-19 vaccine is in phase 2b/3 of its clinical testing and could be submitted to regulators for approval in a matter of months.
As part of the collaboration, GSK is to make an upfront payment of 75 million euros (90 million dollars) and a further milestone payment of 75 million euros, “conditional on the achievement of specific milestones,’’ the statement said.