DRUG giants Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline are in advanced discussions with the European Commission for the supply of up to 300 million doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

The vaccine being developed by Sanofi in partnership with GSK is based on the recombinant protein-based technology used by Sanofi to produce an influenza vaccine and GSK’s established adjuvant technology that improves the immune response of a vaccine.

The move marks a key milestone in protecting and serving the European population against Covid-19, the companies said.

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The doses would be manufactured in European countries including France, Belgium, Germany and Italy.

Thomas Triomphe, of Paris-based Sanofi Pasteur, said: “Together with GSK, we are working relentlessly to develop and produce a vaccine to address this global health crisis.”

Roger Connor, of London-based GSK Vaccines, said it is “proud to be working in partnership with Sanofi to make this vaccine available as soon as possible in Europe”, adding: “Both companies have significant R&D and manufacturing capability in Europe and are already working hard to scale up production across our networks. This announcement supports our ongoing efforts.”

If data are positive approval could come in the first half of 2021.