Sanofi (SNY) - Get Report says that if it successfully develops a coronavirus vaccine, Americans will probably receive it first because the U.S. government was first to fund the French drug titan's vaccine research.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority was the entity that provided financing.
“The U.S. government has the right to the largest preorder because it’s invested in taking the risk,” Sanofi Chief Executive Paul Hudson told Bloomberg.
The U.S., which expanded its vaccine partnership with the company in February, expects “that if we’ve helped you manufacture the doses at risk, we expect to get the doses first.”
But that could be just weeks or days ahead of the rest of the world, he said. The company says it can make 600 million doses of the drug annually, and Hudson says it plans to double that capacity.
In addition, it is partnering with U.S. biotech stalwart Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) - Get Report on Kevzara. That's an arthritis drug in clinical trials that appeared to be effective in treating lung inflammation in Chinese patients who were severely afflicted with the coronavirus.
And Sanofi is a top supplier of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which sometimes seemed to have helped treat covid-19.
Dozens of other companies are seeking to develop a vaccine, too.
Sanofi American depositary receipts recently traded at $49.08, up 1.8%. The stock has eased 3% over the past three months, compared with a 15% drop for the S&P 500.