Sanofi/GSK report positive interim results for their COVID-19 shot


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Sanofi is seen at the company’s headquarters in Paris, France, April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

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PARIS (Reuters) -An experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sanofi (PA:) and GlaxoSmithKline showed a robust immune response in early-stage clinical trial results, enabling them to move to a late-stage study, the French drugmaker said on Monday.

Sanofi and Britain’s GSK said a global phase III trial would start in the coming weeks and involve more than 35,000 adults, with the hope of seeing the vaccine approved by the fourth quarter after having initially targeted the first half of this year before a setback.

“The Phase 2 interim results showed 95% to 100% seroconversion following a second injection in all age groups (18 to 95 years old) and across all doses, with acceptable tolerability and no safety concerns,” said Sanofi.

Some 162.75 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019, while economies have taken a hit and daily life has been turned upside down with restrictions.

Monday’s announcement comes as a relief for Sanofi and GSK after they were forced last December to restart their trial and delay the launch of the shot when the vaccine showed a low immune response in older adults as a result of a weak antigen formulation.

GSK and Sanofi’s vaccine candidate uses the same technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines. It will be coupled with an adjuvant, a substance that acts as a booster to the shot, made by GSK.

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