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Sanofi to stop development of its messenger RNA vaccine

Too late, Sanifo drops the development of its messenger RNA vaccine against Covid-19. Despite positive intermediate results for phase 1-2 of the trial of its messenger RNA vaccine, the French laboratory believes that it would arrive too late on the market, he said on Tuesday. In fact, 12 billion doses of anti-Covid vaccines will have been produced in total by the end of the year.

Sanofi, on the other hand, continues to develop its other vaccine against the virus, which is currently in the last phase of clinical trials. The results of phase 3 of the latter, based on a recombinant protein and developed with the British GSK, are still expected before the end of 2021.

Yet promising results

Initial data from the messenger RNA technology trial shows seroconversion, that is, the production of antibodies, in 91% to 100% of participants two weeks after the second injection, indicates Sanofi. In addition, no side effects were observed.

With this technology, the laboratory wanted to assess the ability to elicit an immune response. “However, this is strong,” commented Thomas Triomphe, vice-president of the vaccines branch of Sanofi. Sanofi had been working with Translate Bio on this vaccine since March 2020, and even bought this American biotech in early August for some 2.7 billion euros.

“No need to have another messenger RNA vaccine”

However, “the need is not to create new Covid-19 RNA vaccines, but to equip France and Europe with an arsenal of messenger RNA vaccines for a next pandemic, for new pathologies”, adds Thomas Triomphe. Therefore, Sanofi will not develop phase 3 for this vaccine, because “there is no public health need to have another messenger RNA vaccine”, he continues.

Sanofi, on the other hand, says it wants to develop vaccines with this technology against other viruses, without side effects and with fewer constraints in terms of storage temperature. The group has already launched initial trials for a monovalent vaccine – with a single strain of virus – against seasonal influenza. He said Tuesday he wanted to launch clinical trials against influenza next year, this time with a quadrivalent vaccine.


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