PARIS (AP) – French drug maker Sanofi said on Tuesday it was putting aside plans for a messenger RNA-based COVID-19 vaccine despite positive early-stage test results.
The Paris-based company said it will continue to develop another vaccine candidate that is already in late-stage human trials. This vaccine, developed jointly with the British GlaxoSmithKline, is based on the spike protein characteristic of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Messenger RNA vaccines use a different technology that uses the genetic information of the virus to trigger an immune response. This technology is already used in vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna.
âFrom a public health perspective, COVID mRNA vaccines are widely available today, and launching a placebo-controlled study in countries where vaccines are available would be extremely difficult, so there is no need to makes sense for us to advance our Covid mRNA vaccine into phase 3, âSanofi said in response to questions from The Associated Press.
Sanofi recently extended trials of its recombinant protein vaccine to test its effectiveness as a booster dose to extend the immunity of people inoculated with a variety of other vaccines. The results of this study are expected later this year.
While Sanofi has decided not to pursue a COVID-19 vaccine base on messenger RNA technology, the company said early tests had shown “promising results.” As a result, Sanofi said it plans to use the technology to develop a new influenza vaccine, with clinical studies scheduled to begin next year.
âToday, we have a promising mRNA platform, which we are taking to the next level of development, including switching to modified mRNA and against other diseases, including influenzaâ, Jean- FranÃ§ois Toussaint, global head of research and development at Sanofi vaccination unit, said in a statement.