PARIS- A coronavirus vaccine that Sanofi is developing with Britain's GlaxoSmithKline is likely to be priced at less than 10 euros ($11.80) per shot if it is approved for use, Sanofi's chief in France said on Saturday.
"The price is not totally set ... We are assessing production costs for the coming months ... We will be below 10 euros," Olivier Bogillot told France Inter radio.
Drugmakers and government agencies are racing to come up with vaccines for the new coronavirus and treatments for COVID-19, the respiratory diseases it causes which has killed more than 879,000 worldwide and wrecked economies.
Asked about rival AstraZeneca, which is expected to price its shot at about 2.50 euros in Europe, Bogillot said: "The price gap for us can be that we use all our internal resources, our own researchers, our own research centres. AstraZeneca outsources part of its production."
A Sanofi spokeswoman said in an emailed statement on Sunday that a final price would only be decided when the vaccine reaches its final testing stage.
"We anticipate being able to determine a final price at the time of our Phase III trials, when we know more about dosing. At this stage, any figure is imprecise. Less than 10 euros is only one of the hypotheses we are working on."
Earlier this week, Sanofi and GSK said they had started a clinical trial of their protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate, with the ambition of reaching the final testing stage, also known as Phase III, by December.
If the results are positive, Sanofi and GSK hope to get the vaccine approved in the first half of next year.
Sanofi is also working on another coronavirus vaccine candidate with U.S group Translate Bio that will use another technology known as messenger RNA.
($1 = 0.8447 euros)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Additional reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Frances Kerry and Mark Potter) ((email@example.com; +33149495432; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))