Sanofi Starts Trials of Covid Shot After Early Data Impress
Sanofi administered the first patients with its experimental Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday, bringing it a step closer to the late-stage clinical trials it aims to kick start before year-end.
The Paris-based drugmaker launched human studies at 11 sites across the U.S. The phase 1/2 trial — which compresses the early and middle stages of clinical tests — will assess 440 healthy patients in two age groups: 18 to 49, and over 50. Sanofi, which is developing the vaccine in partnership withGlaxoSmithKline Plc, aims to have results by December, at which point it hopes to accelerate into late-stage studies.
Though Sanofi and Glaxo are just now starting their latest trial, the vaccine front-runners may deliver interim data from their late-stage studies as early as this month. There are more than 175 Covid-19 vaccines currently in development, according to the World Health Organization, and 33 in human trials. A handful have ambitions to secure emergency use authorizations in the fall.
“I’m not concerned that we’re a few months behind some of the other vaccine candidates,” John Shiver, senior vice president of global vaccine research and development, said in an interview. Sanofi’s expertise in conducting trials and “experience with very similar viruses” will allow it to gain back time on its peers, he said, and ultimately, multiple shots will be needed.
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