FILE PHOTO: A nurse holds a bottle of the Pandemrix H1N1 flu vaccine (R) and a bottle of the vaccine's adjuvant (L) at a health centre in Burgos. Image Credit: Reuters

London: Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday said it plans to produce 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine adjuvant, an ingredient that makes vaccines work better, in 2021 to support multiple Covid-19 vaccine collaborations.

Saying that it has started manufacture of the adjuvant at risk, the company added that it was in discussions with governments and global institutions about funding for production and supply of the adjuvant.

"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, GSK Global Vaccines, said in a 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.

"With this significant expansion in our manufacturing capacity, we can help deliver up to 1 billion doses of adjuvanted vaccines through 2021, helping protect many more people and support the global effort to fight COVID-19," Connor added.

GSK has formed several collaborations, including with scientific partners in North America, Europe and China, to develop vaccines, the company said, adding that discussions with potential partners on further collaborations are ongoing.

In the last flu pandemic, GSK's pandemic adjuvant showed ability to reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose, which allows more vaccine doses to be produced, contributing to protecting more people.

Additionally, an adjuvant can enhance the immune response and has been shown to create a stronger and longer-lasting immunity against infections.

GSK has prioritised its efforts towards making its pandemic adjuvant technology available to partners developing promising Covid-19 vaccine candidates that are suitable for use with an adjuvant.

Confirmation of the enhanced manufacturing capacity follows completion of a review conducted across the company's global supply network.

GSK said it will manufacture, fill and finish adjuvant for use in Covid-19 vaccines at sites in the UK, US, Canada and Europe.