GlaxoSmithKline laid out plans to produce 1 billion doses of vaccine efficacy boosters, or adjuvants.
The world’s largest vaccine maker said it was in talks with governments to back a manufacturing expansion that would help to scale up production of future vaccines for COVID-19.
It gave no indication of the program’s costs, saying only that production would take place at sites in Europe and North America and that it would reinvest any profit into coronavirus research and preparation for future pandemics.
GSK and Sanofi are working together on the COVID-19 vaccine, to counter respiratory illness that currently has no treatment.
Adjuvants, an area where GSK leads many of its peers, have been shown to create a stronger and longer-lasting immunity against infections and allow for lower dosing of the protein in a vaccine, making way for higher-volume production.
According to GSK Global Vaccines President Roger Connor, “We believe that more than one vaccine will be needed to address this global pandemic and we are working with partners around the world to do so.”
Experts also predicted that the vaccine will take more than a year to be developed and companies and governments are pouring money into dozens of programs as their best hope of allowing a durable escape from lockdowns and get economies expanding again.
On Thursday GSK said that making its adjuvant available to the world’s poorest countries will be a key part of its efforts.