Sanofi agrees a second partnership to develop a COVID-19 vaccine

pharmafile | March 30, 2020 | News story | Sales and Marketing Vaccine, china coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus vaccine 

Sanofi has partnered with Translate Bio to develop a novel messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine for COVID-19 while they are also leading trials outside the US for testing Kevzara in coronavirus patients.

Previously, Sanofi Pasteur, the company’s vaccine business, and Translate had been collaborating on creating five mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases. Translate will use its mRNA platform to discover, design and manufacture the vaccine while Sanofi will aim to use it resources to advance any potential vaccine found on this platform through the developmental stages.

Sanofi is also involved in clinical trials evaluating Kevzara (sarilumab) in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 symptoms. Kevzara is being investigated for its ability to reduce the overactive inflammatory immune response associated with COVID-19. The Phase 2/3 trials have taken place in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Canada and Russia. They are working with Regeneron, who they developed the drug with, and their partner is conducting the trials in the US.

Sanofi’s Global Head of Research and Development, John Reed, said on Kevzara, that: ““Sanofi and Regeneron are relentlessly working to rapidly initiate trials around the world that will help determine whether Kevzara has the potential to play a role in addressing the COVID-19 global health crisis. These trials will provide important data to determine whether Kevzara ameliorates the life-threatening complications of COVID-19 infections by counteracting the overactive inflammatory responses in the lungs when damaged by the virus. In these unprecedented times, we are deeply grateful for the daily collaboration with health authorities that are enabling us to conduct this clinical work so quickly.” 

Kevzara has already been used in a 21 patient cohort study of coronavirus patients in China. In a non-peer reviewed cases 70% of the patients reduced their need for supplemental oxygen within days of recieveing Kevzara combined with tocilizumab.

Conor Kavanagh

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