Sanofi pulls the plug on COVID mRNA vax

Sept. 29, 2021

Sanofi has decided not to pursue the development of its COVID-19 mRNA candidate into a phase 3 clinical study despite positive interim data, instead focusing on advancing its COVID-19 recombinant vaccine being developed in partnership with GSK.

The decision to drop clinical development of the mRNA shot acquired as part of its takeover of Translate Bio was announced one day after the drugmaker posted positive phase 1/2 study interim results where participants' blood readings showed a strong immune reaction.

According to a Sanofi press release, "taking into account public health needs and given sufficient mRNA COVID-19 vaccines supply can be expected going forward," the company will focus its mRNA resources in its newly created mRNA Center of Excellence to address future pandemics and other infectious diseases and therapeutics where there is a strong unmet need.

Instead, Sanofi and British partner GSK are looking to bring another COVID-19 vaccine candidate, based on the more conventional protein-based approach, to market by the end of the year. The vaccine is currently being studied in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 study of more than 35,000 adults.