Production of Sanofi-GlaxoSmithKline COVID-19 vaccine to begin within weeks
Production of another potential COVID-19 vaccine will begin within weeks, its developers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline said on Thursday as they launched a large trial enrolling 35,000 adult volunteers in the United States, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The study will test vaccine candidate formulas against the original coronavirus that spread from Wuhan and against variant first seen in South Africa, the pharmaceutical firms said.
Manufacturing will soon begin to enable rapid access
"If the trial is successful, regulators could approve the vaccine's use in the last three months of the year," the drugmakers said in a statement. Manufacturing will begin in the coming weeks to enable rapid access to the vaccine, should it be approved, they said.
The vaccine candidate triggered strong immune responses in adults
Their statement quoted Thomas Triomphe, who leads vaccine research and development at Sanofi Pasteur, as saying, "We are encouraged to see first vaccinations starting to take place in such an important, pivotal Phase 3 study." Earlier this month, the firms said their vaccine candidate triggered strong immune responses in all adult age groups in preliminary trials after an earlier setback.
Two doses resulted in antibodies at par with those recovered
After two doses of the vaccine candidate, participants showed antibodies in line with those found in people who had recovered from the disease, according to the results of the previous, smaller trial.
French President Emmanuel Macron has been backing the vaccine
The Sanofi-GSK vaccine was an important part of the European Union's vaccination strategy and had notably been championed by French President Emmanuel Macron's government. But researchers had to reformulate it after early testing produced an inadequate immune response in older people. The companies plan to produce up to one billion doses annually, and they have signed agreements with the US, Canada, and developing countries.
The pandemic has already killed over 3.4 million people
Regulators have already authorized a number of COVID-19 vaccines. Although, the experts say a larger number of vaccines are needed as public health authorities around the world race to vaccinate their residents amid this COVID-19 pandemic The pandemic has already killed more than 3.4 million people and caused economic havoc.