A coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine that Sanofi is currently developing with UK's GlaxoSmithKline is probably going to be priced at less than 10 euros ($11.80) per shot if it gets approved for use, the chief of Sanofi in France stated 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.

The drugmakers and government agencies are currently working at a war-like speed to find vaccines for the novel coronavirus and the treatment for COVID-19, the respiratory diseases it caused, and has killed over 879,000 people worldwide and wrecked economies.

COVID-19 Vaccine

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COVID-19 vaccine trial (Representational picture) Pixnio.com

When questioned about rival AstraZeneca, which is probably going to price its shot at about 2.50 euros in Europes, Bogillot said, "The price gap for us can be that we use all our internal resources, our own researchers, our own research centers. AstraZeneca outsources part of its production."

A Sanofi spokeswoman stated in an email on Sunday that a final price is going to 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," as reported by Reuters.

This week, Sanofi and GSK mentioned that they had started a clinical trial of their protein-based virus vaccine candidate, with the ambition of tracking 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 in the coming year. Sanofi is currently also working on another COVID-19 vaccine with the US group Translate Bio that is going to use another technology known as messenger RNA.

(With agency inputs)