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GSK and Sanofi: another COVID-19 vaccine in the testing phase

The group of projects that are in the most advanced stage of testing to find the coronavirus vaccine is joined by the vaccine developed by the partnership between the French pharma company Sanofi and the British GSK, which has just entered clinical studies in the United States. There are currently 176 potential vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic in development, according to WHO.

Angelique Moss

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This picture show a person doing some medical tests.

Although in Argentina the pharmaceutical companies that are currently in the spotlight are the British company AstraZeneca and the American company Pfizer, these are not the only pharmaceutical giants that are working hard on bringing a vaccine against COVID-19 to the global market.

Two other major players that are working in this crucial sector are the France-based Sanofi and the UK-based GSK, two of the world’s biggest players in immunization. The two pharma giants have recently started clinical studies for their potential vaccine against COVID-19 in the United States. 

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The collaboration with Sanofi is one of Glaxo’s seven ventures 

The British company decided to provide its system of adjuvants to other projects, including those carried out by the Chinese biotech company Clover Pharmaceuticals and the Canadian laboratory Medicago.

According to official statements from the companies, early stage clinical trials were launched in 11 different locations and the aim is to have the first results by the end of this year. If all goes well, it could be possible to enter the last stage of the clinical trials before the end of 2020. 

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The French-British candidate vaccine combines the technology Sanofi uses to manufacture its influenza vaccines with Glaxo’s special adjuvants. The project has funding available of up to $2.1 billion under Operation Warp Speed, which was launched by the government of the United States. If successful, the effort aims to manufacture and distribute one billion doses by 2021.

Both companies, in turn, are involved in other vaccines against the new coronavirus. GSK provided its adjuvant systems to six other projects, including collaborations with Clover and Medicago. For its part, Sanofi has a potential mRNA vaccine in development with the American Translate Bio, which is still in the preclinical stage.

In the global race, Sanofi and GSK would appear to be running a few months behind AZ, Pfizer, Moderna and the Chinese CanSino and SinoVac, who have already begun Phase III studies. However, John Shiver, Sanofi’s vice president of vaccine R&D, said they can still catch up with their competitors thanks to  the French company’s experience with “very similar viruses.”

Shiver also said that many clinical trials so far have recruited mostly white people. Meanwhile, Sanofi and GSK are going to select a “tremendous diversity” of participants in the clinical trials, across multiple countries for their final research stage in December.

According to the latest update from the World Health Organization, released Thursday, September 3rd, there are currently 176 potential COVID-19 vaccines in development, of which 34 are currently in clinical trials.

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(Featured image by Martin Lopez via Pexels)

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Angelique Moss is a London-based entrepreneur, writer, and traveller. The world of business, finance, and technology, is her preferred cup of tea. She also writes about the developments and discussions on health, art, luxury and media. A top writer for several Medium publications, she has published hundreds of widely read articles on investing, stocks, global markets, cannabis, and technology for multiple platforms. She is also interested in culture, history, and social affairs.