Sanofi’s Two Vaccine Candidates against COVID-19

Last update: March 12, 2021

Throughout the ongoing pandemic, Sanofi has joined forces to develop two vaccine candidates to help prevent and control COVID-19.

Paul Hudson

"As the world faces this unprecedented global health crisis, it is clear that no one company can go it alone. That is why Sanofi is continuing to complement its expertise and resources with that of our peers."

Paul Hudson, CEO Sanofi

Sanofi's two vaccine candidates

Animation COVID two vaccines

Adjuvanted recombinant protein-based vaccine candidate: where do we stand? 

Thomas Triomphe

"All our decisions are and will always be driven by science and data. We have identified the path forward and remain confident and committed to bringing a safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccine."

Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Head of Sanofi Pasteur

mRNA vaccine candidate: where do we stand?

Sanofi and Translate Bio announced on March 12 the start of a phase 1/2 clinical trial for their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The study will assess the vaccine candidate’s safety, immune response and reactogenicity with 415 participants to be enrolled across 13 investigational sites. 

The joint development team is currently working on improving the temperature stability of the mRNA vaccine candidate to target a -20°C storage temperature for late-stage clinical trials and at launch. Efforts are also underway to enable the vaccine to be stable at routine refrigerator temperature (2-8°C).

“Our mRNA vaccine candidate is the result of our expertise in infectious diseases coupled with the innovative technologies of our partner,” said Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur. “Initiating the phase 1/2 trial represents an important step forward in our goal of bringing another effective vaccine to the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In parallel, preclinical studies are underway to evaluate additional mRNA candidates against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Scaling up manufacturing capabilities

Sanofi is increasing its manufacturing capabilities to be able to quickly deliver large quantities of future vaccines to meet global demand from around the world.

“The company is working across multiple countries and in coordination with partner manufacturing sites to be able to make vaccines at the extremely large scales required by the pandemic. The manufacturing process is a complex, never-ending job, but our aim is to supply the vaccine to as many as need it,” said Vincent Hingot, Head of Vaccine Industrial Affairs.

While Sanofi’s utmost priority is to continue to develop its two COVID-19 vaccine candidates, the company has offered its temporarily available capacities to support manufacturing and supply of BioNTech’s approved COVID-19 vaccine, co-developed with Pfizer, the vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson once approved, and the vaccine developed by Moderna.

This marks Sanofi’s commitment to use its manufacturing capability to support the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines and help meet the current public health need.

Reality safety check

While the urgency of developing an effective vaccine cannot be ignored, Sanofi’s top priority is safety. Our CEO, Paul Hudson, pledged with eight other biopharma CEOs to develop potential vaccines in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles regarding clinical trials and manufacturing processes. 

Only vaccines that have passed an approved phase 3 trial will be submitted for approval or emergency-use authorization, a pledge that “will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved.”

“Our work, as always, is driven by science and our sense of responsibility,” said Paul.

Solidarity is key to moving the fight against COVID-19 forward and, in time, to establishing a blueprint for collaboration and preparation for future pandemics.

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