GlaxoSmithKline, one of the UK’s largest pharmaceutical companies, has partnered with a biotech company in China, to develop a vaccine for coronavirus.
The UK company will work with Clover Biopharmaceuticals, providing adjuvant technology to help the latter’s candidate in their pre-clinical trials.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, a number of different drug companies have been working on a vaccine for the illness. GlaxoSmithKline have also entered into a partnership with the University of Queensland.
The Clover-GlaxoSmithKline partnership is believed to allow for any vaccine manufactured to be supplied more efficiently, with Clover home to one of the largest “inhouse, commercial scale” biomanufacturing capabilities in China.
Coronavirus has been declared as a public health emergency with China reporting some 76,936 cases and a total of 2,442 deaths.
The disease has already impacted upon global markets and supply chains, with the impact seen from airlines to fashion week.
At present, the World Health Organisation has noted that there are “no known effective therapeutics” to counteract the virus.
The chief medical officer for GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine business, Thomas Breuer, has said that it takes between one to one and a half years to both develop and gain regulatory approval for any given vaccine.
Chief executive of the pharmaceutical company, Emma Walmsley, stated that the company were willing to work “wherever we can” to create a vaccine, and that scientists were working on “everything that we have within the portfolio”.
Vice president of business development and strategy at Clover, Steven Gong, said that: “Collaborations will be critical to accelerating the development of a successful new vaccine in times of emergency, and we continue to invite any interested regulatory, academic or industry parties to contact us for this noble common cause.”