French drugmaker Sanofi has agreed to pick up the slack as Pfizer addresses some production issues.
Sanofi has granted access to a production facility in Frankfurt and will start producing doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. In a statement released by Sanofi on Wednesday, it said the deal with Pfizer means it will produce more than 125 million doses for the European Union, with first deliveries expected in the summer.
This marks the first time a drugmaker will produce a rival’s vaccine according to representatives at Sanofi. It comes as Pfizer’s Belgium production facility goes through retooling to increase production. The subsequent decline in its COVID-19 vaccine has led to a restructuring of Canada’s and Ontario’s plan to vaccinate everyone who wants to be by this fall1.
Sanofi is among the pharmaceutical companies that continue to press ahead with the development of a COVID-19 vaccine of its own.