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Sanofi CEO: Vaccine candidate will not be ready in 2021

Sanofi CEO: Vaccine candidate will not be ready in 2021
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Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said that a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that the company is developing will not be ready in 2021.

“This vaccine will not be ready this year, but it could be of use at a later stage all the more if the fight against variants was to continue,” Reuters reported Hudson told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.

The CEO gave no other details, according to the news outlet.

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The Hill has reached out to the company for comment.

Sanofi partnered with U.S.-based company Translate Bio last June to developed the vaccine based on mRNA technology. Vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna — which have both been authorized for emergency use in the U.S. — also use this technology.

Reuters reported that clinical trials of the company's vaccine were expected to start this quarter, and Sanofi said in December that the “earliest potential approval” of the vaccine was the second half of 2021.

Sanofi announced in December that interim results from a phase 1/2 clinical trial of a separate vaccine it is developing with U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) showed the candidate produced a low immune response in older adults. The company at the time said that the low immune response could be due to an insufficient concentration of the antigen. 

The company plans to begin a phase 2b trial of this vaccine this month, a move that will delay its availability to sometime in the second half of 2021.

The news comes after Sanofi announced in late January that it will help Pfizer and BioNTech produce doses of their vaccine from its facilities in Frankfurt, Germany, beginning this summer.