EU, Sanofi Talks on Covid-19 Vaccine Aim for Supply Next Year

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The deliberations are part of a European Commission outreach campaign to several drug companies — Johnson & Johnson, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) Inc., CureVac GmbH and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) are others — seeking agreements on the advance purchase of any successful Covid-19 vaccines, according to the person, asking not to be indentified because the talks are confidential.

A Sanofi representative confirmed the number of doses being discussed. BioNTech declined to comment. CureVac didn’t immediately respond to an email request for comment. Johnson & Johnson and Moderna couldn’t immediately be reached.

The commission, the EU’s executive arm in Brussels, has also taken charge of a deal reached last month between four member countries and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) Plc to distribute a possible Covid-19 vaccine. That accord was to provide 300 million to 400 million doses in stages starting from the end of 2020.

Europe is keen to avoid falling behind the U.S. or China in obtaining supplies of any immunization shot. The EU is seeking to mimic the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which has entered into partnerships with vaccine companies in a bid to ensure quick availability for Americans of any successful candidates.

Reuters reported earlier on Friday that the EU is in negotiations for advance purchase deals of potential coronavirus vaccines with Moderna, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson, BioNtech and CureVac. The report, citing two unidentified people in the EU, said any pact with Johnson & Johnson would be for the supply of 200 million doses.

A possible EU accord with Johnson & Johnson would also include options for two further batches, the official told Bloomberg News.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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