Covid: Sanofi gives up its messenger RNA vaccine

Posted on Sep 28, 2021 at 9:00 AMUpdated Sep 28, 2021, 1:18 PM

There will undoubtedly be no French alternative to the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna against Covid-19. This Tuesday morning, Sanofi said it would not develop phase 3 trials for its messenger RNA vaccine – the last step before commercialization. Despite positive intermediate results for phase 1-2 of the trial, Sanofi believes that it would arrive too late on the market, while 12 billion doses of anti-Covid vaccines will have been produced in total by the end of the year.

Initial data from the messenger RNA technology trial shows seroconversion – that is, the making of antibodies – in 91% to 100% of participants two weeks after the second injection, said the tricolor laboratory. These positive results are verified for the three assays tested. In addition, no side effects were observed and the safety profile is comparable to that of the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Sanofi had been working on this vaccine since March 2020 with Translate Bio, an American biotech that it even bought for some 2.7 billion euros in August. “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”, explained to AFP Thomas Triomphe, vice-president of the vaccines branch of Sanofi. Therefore, there will be no phase 3 for this vaccine, because “there is no public health need for another messenger RNA vaccine”.

Other messenger RNA vaccine projects

On the other hand, Sanofi will not abandon its most advanced vaccine project, which it is developing with the British GSK. Based on a recombinant protein, it is currently in phase 3, and its results are expected before the end of the year.

Finally, the French laboratory intends to continue its research on messenger RNA vaccines against other viruses. The group has already launched initial trials for a monovalent vaccine – with a single strain of virus – against seasonal influenza. He said on Tuesday that he wanted to launch clinical trials against influenza next year, this time with a quadrivalent vaccine.

With AFP

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