In a press release today, British Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline announced a partnership with Canadian biopharmaceutical company Medicago plans to develop and evaluate a new vaccine against COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccine News has added GSK + Medicago to its vaccine tracker where every manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccines is tracked daily.

“This agreement paves the way for an innovative vaccine option combining a scalable plant-based antigen technology with an adjuvant which has pandemic dose sparing capability." said Dr Thomas Breuer, Chief Medical Officer, GSK Vaccines. "If successful, it will be a meaningful contributor in the fight against COVID-19. We strongly believe that multiple vaccines are needed, including post-pandemic vaccines. This plant-based technology also shows promise beyond COVID-19 and has the potential to help prevent other infectious diseases.”

In the partnership, Medicago will supply their recombinant Coronavirus Virus-Like Particles (CoVLP), which mimics the virus causing COVID-19, working with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant system for vaccine development. GSK's adjuvant system aims to boost the potential immune response while requiring less CoVLP.

GSK employees working on the production of vaccines, Brazil

“We are about to begin clinical trials with our CoVLP vaccine candidate harnessing GSKs pandemic adjuvant technology against the virus that causes COVID-19." said Dr Bruce Clark, President and CEO of Medicago. "This collaboration with GSK gives us access to a proven adjuvant which could enhance the effectiveness of our candidate vaccine, and also to a depth of scientific experience to support our development efforts.”

The companies have completed their pre-clinical phase and expect to begin phase 2 testing in a matter of weeks. With well over one hundred vaccines for the virus already in production, the partnership is a late entry but expects to have a vaccine available by the first half of 2021. GSK is also working with Sanofi on a protein subunit vaccine, currently in pre-clinical testing.