A coronavirus vaccine that Sanofi is developing with GlaxoSmithKline is likely to be priced at less than €10 per shot if it is approved for use, Sanofi's chief in France has said. 

"The price is not totally set.We are assessing production costs for the coming months. We will be below €10," Olivier Bogillot told France Inter radio over the weekend. 

Drugmakers and government agencies are racing to come up with vaccines for the new coronavirus and treatments for Covid-19, the respiratory diseases it causes which has killed more than 879,000 worldwide and wrecked economies. 

Asked about rival AstraZeneca, which is expected to price its shot at about €2.50 in Europe, Bogillot said: "The price gap for us can be that we use all our internal resources, our own researchers, our own research centres. AstraZeneca outsources part of its production." 

A Sanofi spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that a final price would only 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 is only one of the hypotheses we are working on," the company said.

Sanofi and GSK said last week they had started a clinical trial of their protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate, with the ambition of reaching 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 of next year. 

Sanofi is also working on another coronavirus vaccine candidate with USgroup Translate Bio that will use another technology known as messenger RNA.