February 3, 2020 / 12:01 AM / 18 days ago

British drugmaker GSK to collaborate with CEPI in effort to develop coronavirus vaccine

Feb 3 (Reuters) - British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc is collaborating with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to contribute towards the effort of developing a vaccine for the coronavirus outbreak, GSK and CEPI said on Monday.

GSK will make its “adjuvant platform technology” available for developing a vaccine against the 2019-nCoV virus, according to the statement.

The use of adjuvant allows for production of more vaccine doses and hence would increase availability to more people.

GSK will engage with entities funded by the CEPI with the first of these agreements having been signed between the British drugmaker and Australia’s University of Queensland, the statement added.

The fast-moving flu-like virus has killed more than 300 people in China, spread to more than two dozen countries and caused the world’s second largest economy to be hit by travel curbs and business shut-downs.

There is currently no vaccine available against the coronavirus but several organisations including CEPI, a public-private body based in Norway, are working at developing one.

France’s Pasteur Institute Foundation said on Friday it had set up a task force aimed at developing a vaccine against the virus in 20 months while Germany’s research minister said she expected a vaccine to be developed within “a few months”.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru Editing by Chris Reese

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