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Sat. May 25th, 2024

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi and struggling US rival Novavax announced Friday an alliance to sell a Covid vaccine and develop another that combines with a flu shot.

Under a licensing deal worth up to $1.2 billion, the companies will co-commercialise Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine worldwide, except in some countries including India, Japan and South Korea, where the US firm already has partnership agreements.

Novavax will receive an upfront payment of $500 million and up to $700 million if it reachers certain milestones while Sanofi will take a five percent stake in the US company.

Sanofi will book sales of Novavax’s protein-based Covid-19 vaccine from 2025.

The French group will be able to develop a combination flu-Covid vaccine using its own flu shots with the US company’s Covid jab.

The announcement comes as pharmaceutical companies have reported drops in sales for Covid vaccines.

Novavax, which is highly dependent on its Covid vaccine, raised doubts last year about its ability to continue its business.

The Maryland-based firm was an early frontrunner in the global vaccine race, but fell behind after being hit by manufacturing and regulatory delays.

For Sanofi, the deal is a chance to develop a combination flu-Covid jab.

“With flu and Covid-19 hospital admission rates now closely mirroring each other, we have an opportunity to develop non-mRNA flu-Covid-19 combination vaccines offering patients both enhanced convenience and protection against two serious respiratory viruses,” said Jean-Francois Toussaint, Sanofi’s global head of vaccine research and development.

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