“We are determined to develop a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19”, Olivier Bogillot (Sanofi France)

THE TRIBUNE – Where is Sanofi in its research on the vaccine against Covid-19?

OLIVIER BOGILLOT – We have launched two candidate vaccine programs against Covid-19. The first vaccine program, adjuvanted with recombinant protein developed with GSK, is delayed in order to improve the immune response in the elderly. We are naturally disappointed with this delay, but all the decisions we make are and will always be motivated by scientific considerations and by the data at our disposal. The strategy to be followed has been identified, and we are confident and firmly committed to developing a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19. Moreover, the start of massive vaccination campaigns in many countries should remind us how much we need several vaccines and billions of doses to fight against the current pandemic.

Sanofi’s Recombinant Technology and GSK’s Pandemic Adjuvant are established technology platforms that have proven to be successful in influenza vaccine development. This technology has several advantages. It allows a stable formulation under temperature conditions applicable to conventional vaccines, to generate high and sustained immune responses and potentially prevent virus transmission.

We plan to launch a phase IIb study in February 2021 with the support of BARDA. The study will include a comparison proposal with an authorized vaccine against Covid-19. The availability of the vaccine, initially scheduled for June 2021, is now expected in the fourth quarter of 2021 if our clinical development plan is concluded successfully.

In addition, in addition to this recombinant protein-based vaccine, we are also developing a candidate messenger RNA vaccine in partnership with Translate Bio. We plan to begin a Phase I / II study in the first quarter of 2021 and gain potential approval for this vaccine no earlier than the second half of 2021.

Is Sanofi thinking of helping other pharmaceutical groups to produce anti-Covid-19 vaccines while waiting for the arrival of theirs at the end of 2021?

Sanofi is fully committed to the fight against the current pandemic and to finding solutions. In view of recent developments in the development of our recombinant vaccine candidate, we are studying the potential technical feasibility of a temporary contribution to certain production stages in support of other manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccines.

The health crisis has shown it: 70% of the active ingredients of drugs are produced on the other side of the world. Why have pharmaceutical companies relocated their production so much?

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