Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have agreed a deal with the European Commission to provide up to 300 million doses of their potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

According to GSK, the EU will provide upfront funding to support the scale-up of the companies’ manufacturing capabilities in Europe. The final agreement marks a key milestone in protecting the EU population from COVID-19.

Sanofi and GSK’s vaccine candidate is based on recombinant protein-based technology and GSK’s established adjuvant technology. The shot is currently being studied in a phase I/II clinical study, with a planned phase III study set to begin by the end of 2020.

The EU agreement will help Sanofi and GSK to scale-up manufacturing on the antigen and adjuvant components with the aim of producing up to one billion doses per year overall to meet the demand for COVID-19 vaccines across the world.

Following the advanced purchase agreement, the vaccine will become available for purchase by all member states of the EU, which may donate reserved doses to lower- and middle-income country.

Sanofi and GSK previously signed agreements with the US and UK governments for early access to their COVID-19 vaccine, as countries across the world race to ensure access to potential shots for their populations.