Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline says it has plans for next year to manufacture 1 billion doses of its pandemic vaccine adjuvant - a booster that potentially could help make any Covid-19 vaccine stronger and possibly aid in scaling up production.
The London-based company said in a statement on Thursday that its adjuvant has been shown to reduce the amount of vaccine required per dose, which allows more vaccine doses to be produced.
An adjuvant also is added to some vaccines to enhance the immune response, which creates stronger immunity against infections.
GSK said it will make the vaccine adjuvant technology available to partners that are developing "promising" Covid-19 vaccine candidates, and that making the adjuvant available to the world's "poorest countries" would be key.
"We believe that more than one vaccine will be needed to address this global pandemic and we are working with partners around the world to do so," Roger Connor, President of GSK Global Vaccines, said in Thursday's statement.
"We believe that our innovative pandemic adjuvant technology has the potential to help improve the efficacy and scale up of multiple COVID-19 vaccines," Connor said.
Some background: In April, GSK and French drugmaker Sanofi announced they will be collaborating to develop a vaccine for Covid-19, with clinical trials expected to begin in the second half of 2020. They are among dozens of companies around the world working to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.