The chief executive of French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi will report to the Elysee Palace on Tuesday for a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron, the president’s office said on Friday.
The development comes amid growing outrage in France after Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson indicated to news agency Bloomberg that the U.S would get priority access to any novel coronavirus vaccine the firm may develop.
Bloomberg cited Hudson as saying that because the U.S was investing in work on the vaccine, it would have the right to the biggest pre-order and would probably get it days or weeks ahead of other countries.
President Emmanuel Macron, who has argued that any vaccine for the coronavirus should be considered a global public good, was `indignant at Hudson’s comments, the Elysee said on Thursday.
Sanofi chairman Serge Weinberg sought to limit the damage on Thursday evening, telling France 2 television that there would be no particular head start for any country.
The U.S might get priority for vaccine doses produced in the company’s US-based factories, but Sanofi had bigger production facilities in France and other European countries, Weinberg said.
Sanofi has two vaccines under development, one of them in conjunction with the U.S. government, and says it hopes to get them approved between the middle and second half of next year.