In an interview with Financial Times correspondent Leila Abboud at the FT Global Boardroom video conference on the 14th of May, Paul Hudson, CEO of French pharma firm Sanofi underscored the joint efforts between his company and GSK in hopes of bringing a viable Covid-19 vaccine to market more quickly.
We will not stop until everybody gets what they need across the world
Paul Hudson, Sanofi
With collaboration at this level between pharma giants not frequently seen in the industry, Hudson was asked if he thought this was a good sign of getting a vaccine produced more quickly. He responded affirmatively, stating that “It’s a good sign all around, the level of collaboration, as well as the speed in which it was done, in 15-20 days.”
The two companies bringing their technologies together, Hudson believes, makes it more likely that their vaccine will be effective in fighting coronavirus. Hudson explained in more depth how GSK’s proven technology can boost the vaccine Sanofi is developing, “We have a vaccine and they have what’s called an adjuvant, which makes the body more receptive to fighting the virus when it comes. We brought those two components to the table, it has moved quickly, and it’s a great partnership already.”
Hudson believes that doing the right thing in the face of such a crisis is paramount, as is looking beyond the competition between companies. He elaborated that “when we have this scale of pandemic and global crisis that has an impact beyond health, we have to accept that we all need to put doing the right thing at the heart of it. We are definitely doing this with our partners at GSK.”
Finally, according to Hudson, the timeline to develop a vaccine is long and arduous. However, in this race against the clock to develop a vaccine against coronavirus, he believes that by mid-2021 a vaccine can be ready thanks to this joint effort between GSK and Sanofi: “It takes ten years to develop and provide a vaccine and we’re doing it in 18 months. That shows you the level of collaboration, and I’ll hold a high bar for everybody to maintain that. We will not stop until everybody gets what they need across the world.”