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Sanofi to Test Vaccine Candidate

Sanofi is launching a clinical trial of a candidate mRNA-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the Financial Times reports.

It notes that Sanofi originally focused in conjunction with GlaxoSmithKline on a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine based on recombinant protein. But the two companies reported in December that their candidate vaccine raised an insufficient immune response in early-stage clinical trials, delaying their timeline.

But as Barron's reports, Sanofi has also been working with US-based Translate Bio on an mRNA-based vaccine, like those from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Sanofi and Translate are now starting a Phase 1/2 trial into which they plan to enroll 415 participants to assess the candidate vaccine's safety, dosing, and possible side effects, according to Forbes. It adds that the companies expect interim results by the third quarter of the year.

Sanofi and Translate are also beginning early-stage studies of other candidate vaccines aimed at SARS-CoV-2 variants, FT adds.

It notes that France has viewed the inability of Sanofi or the Pasteur Institute — which ended its vaccine effort in January following disappointing results — to bring a vaccine to market as a national embarrassment.