Coronavirus COVID 19 vaccine: France-based drugmaker Sanofi to start large scale human trials

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New Delhi | Updated: May 06, 2020 1:46 PM

Coronavirus COVID 19 vaccine news, latest update, human trials: Sanofi's Pasteur division has an established track record in influenza vaccines. Last month it had teamed with its British rival GSK to produce a vaccine candidate hoping that it will be ready in 2021.

coronavirus vaccine, coronavirus vaccine news, coronavirus vaccine india, coronavirus vaccine news today, coronavirus vaccine latest news, coronavirus vaccine name, COVID 19 vaccine latest update, covid 19 vaccine india, covid 19 vaccine human trials, covid 19 vaccine news, covid 19 vaccine country, Coronavirus, Covid-19 vaccine latest news: With lakhs of people getting infected due to deadly coronavirus, drugmakers across the world are toiling hard to come up with COVID 19 vaccine that can prevent the highly contagious disease. (Reuters image)

Coronavirus, Covid-19 vaccine: France-based drugmaker Sanofi SA is planning to enroll thousands for coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine trials. Sanofi SA has joined hands with GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) and is working on the coronavirus vaccine. Sanofi SA has already initiated discussions with several countries regarding advanced purchases. The drugmaker is also looking for extensive manufacturing options which include fresh collaborations in order to meet the demand if the trial becomes successful, as per the Reuters report.

With lakhs of people getting infected due to deadly coronavirus, drugmakers across the world are toiling hard to come up with COVID 19 vaccine that can prevent the highly contagious disease. Over 100 vaccine candidates are in the development stage and only 10 out of those managed to reach the clinical testing stage so far, California-based think tank Milken Institute was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine details

Sanofi’s Pasteur division has an established track record in influenza vaccines. Last month it had teamed with its British rival GSK to produce a vaccine candidate hoping that it will be ready in 2021.

Sanofi is set to bring in a protein antigen. This is a molecule designed to trigger an immune response in the body. This will be done based on a platform that Sanofi utilizes for its influenza vaccine Flublok. On its part, GSK will contribute one of its approved adjuvants. This works through boosting the immune response to produce more antibodies and longer-lasting immunity, as per a Reuters report.

Sanofi Pasteur executives stated that they were hopeful that early-stage trials would commence in September.

Phase I vaccine trials generally involve a small number of healthy volunteers to test for safety. Sanofi, however, has opted for higher numbers to secure stronger data sooner. The higher number of volunteers will effectively make Phase I a phase I/II trial, John Shiver, head of Sanofi vaccine research, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

However, the manufacturing of coronavirus vaccine on an enormous scale and distribution of the product globally are tougher challenges than finding the right vaccine. “We will be comparing different doses of the vaccine and that is very critical. It will tell us about the factory capacity and what we need to do to produce the number of doses that we projected,” Shiver told Reuters.

Sanofi previously had said it would be able to manufacture over a billion doses of vaccine. Its project with GSK has got financial assistance from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the US Health Department. There is also a legal intricacy in the matter. Executive vice president for vaccines David Loew said legal details must still be worked out with GSK.

Meanwhile, Sanofi is also working with the US-based Translate Bio Inc on another vaccine candidate based on messenger RNA technology (mRNA), similar to experimental vaccines being developed by Pfizer Inc in partnership with BioNTech SE and another Moderna Inc is developing in partnership with the US government.

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