GSK Teams again with Innovax on COVID Vaccine
In one of the latest collaborations between big pharma and biotechs to find a vaccine for COVID-19, GlaxoSmithKline is teaming u
In one of the latest collaborations between big pharma and biotechs to find a vaccine for COVID-19, GlaxoSmithKline is teaming up again with China’s Xiamen Innovax Biotech to look for a new candidate
In cooperation with researchers from Xiamen University, Innovax is in the process of developing a candidate with the working name of COVID-19 XWG-03. Glaxo’s contribution will be to provide access to an adjuvant for use in the vaccine.
This will be the second collaboration between GSK and Innovax, following a 2019 joint effort to develop a vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) that would match the UK pharma giant’s quest to find a successor to its HPV treatment, Cervarix.
GSK said it is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and is supporting global efforts to tackle the virus with research and production of candidate COVID-19 vaccines, thereby making its adjuvant technology available to scientists and organizations.
The use of an adjuvant is of particular importance in a pandemic situation, the drugmaker said, as it may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose, allowing more vaccine doses to be produced and therefore contributing to protecting more people.
To this end, Glaxo is also collaborating with several companies and research groups around the world in addition to Innovax, including the University of Queensland in Australia and Clover Biopharmaceuticals, a China-based global clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel and transformative biologic therapies.
The British group said early indications of an adjuvant’s benefit have been seen in the first pre-clinical experiments by one of the (unspecified) collaborations. It added that it expects data from its various collaborations to be reported over the next three months, and this will inform next steps for clinical development of the candidate vaccines.
GSK said it is also exploring options to share available manufacturing capacity, to help provide scale manufacturing and production for an eventual vaccine.
According to the Bloomberg news agency, the British pharma is weighing plans for forming a laboratory joint venture with Anglo-Swedish drugmaker Astra Zeneca to help the UK government stretch and expand its supplies for COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
Successes would be provided to other manufacturers or to the UK’s National Health Service.