Pasteur Institute researchers are halting their development of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine following disappointing initial results, the Guardian reports.
It adds that the Pasteur researchers were working with the drug company Merck to adapt an existing measles vaccine to combat the coronavirus. However, Phase 1 testing of the candidate vaccine, which began in August, has led to immune responses that were not as good as those elicited by natural infection or by the authorized vaccines, according to the institute.
This, Agence France Presse notes, is a blow to France, especially as Sanofi has also announced that its candidate vaccine would not be ready until at least the end of 2021.
"No vaccine in the country of Pasteur! What a symbol," Bastien Lachaud, a member of the French National Assembly from the left-wing La France Insoumise party, tweets, according to the Guardian. "This is where the impoverishing of public research, the primacy of the private sector, and the triumph of management and profit are leading."
The Guardian adds that Sanofi has announced it would produce 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the end of the year.