France - Vaccines

Sanofi launches large-scale trials of delayed Covid-19 vaccine

The French laboratory Sanofi has begun final tests of its vaccine against Covid-19, which it hopes to roll out by the end of 2021
The French laboratory Sanofi has begun final tests of its vaccine against Covid-19, which it hopes to roll out by the end of 2021 Joel Saget AFP/Archivos

French pharmaceutical group Sanofi has announced the start of large-scale, phase 3 trials for its main Covid-19 vaccine, developed with British company Glaxo Smith Kline, confirming that it expects to launch the inoculation by the end of 2021 after months of delays.

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In a statement released this Thursday the French group said: "Sanofi and GSK are starting an international phase 3 study to evaluate the efficacy of their candidate vaccine against Covid-19," ten days after announcing encouraging results from the first trials.

The earlier trials - known as phase 2 and carried out on several hundred people - have shown that the vaccine provokes the production of antibodies against the coronavirus in most of the subjects injected.

Hopes to roll out vaccine by end of 2021

However it is the trials announced this Thursday that should give a real idea of the effectiveness of the vaccine against Covid-19 and tests will be carried out on some 35,000 people in multiple countries, including the United States.

If the results of the Phase 3 trials are favourable, Sanofi expects approval in the fourth quarter of 2021 by the major health authorities.

This means that, in the best-case scenario, Sanofi's vaccine will be launched almost a year after the first vaccines were distributed in the Western world against the coronavirus - those from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Sanofi's development of a vaccine in 2020 was delayed for several months due to alleged failures within the laboratory, but has repeatedly assured that its product will still find its place in the market. 

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