Sanofi SA (NASDAQ:SNY) and GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) Announce the First-in-Human Trial of a Covid-19 Vaccine

Threats from the Covid-19 pandemic are large enough. This calls for multiple types of approaches in the development of a potential vaccine. A few vaccine manufacturers cannot fill the urgent global need for such a vaccine. This is what led Sanofi SA (NASDAQ:SNY) and GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) to join the ranks of Covid-19 vaccine makers. The two giants have launched a large Phase 1/2 clinical trial, spread across 11 sites in the United States.

The trial, which is a first in humans, will enroll more than 400 people. Healthy subjects of 18 to 49 years will be vaccinated to launch the right dosage of the vaccine. Upon confirmation, another group of participants, possibly 50 years and older, will be registered.

“The initiation of our clinical study is an important step and brings us closer to a potential vaccine which could help defeat COVID-19,” global head of Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi’s vaccine division, Thomas Triomphe highlighted.

There is a Substantial Preference for the Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline Vaccine

Unlike Sanofi’s vaccine, which is in its Phase ½, many vaccines from other companies are way into their late development phases. The two companies are optimistic about having results in early December before they can launch a Phase 3 trial. All in all, they are behind the proposed timelines for vaccines from the likes of Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna, among others. They will be launching their Phase 3 trials before the end of the year.

However, John Shiver, the senior VP of global vaccines R & D at Sanofi, says they are not concerned about a few months. Apparently, despite lagging with the trials, Sanofi’s and GSK’s vaccine seems to be receiving more preference from some analysis. SVB Leerink analyst Dr. Geoffrey Porges says an increasing positivity from the adjuvanted recombinant protein-based vaccines. They have more humoral and cellular responses.

The Sanofi vaccine has an additional advantage over the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. The latter two struggle to achieve effective temperature requirements. On the other hand, Sanofi and GSK can store their vaccines at normal storage temperatures. Meanwhile, Sanofi is working on bringing forth a second vaccine, an mRNA vaccine, thanks to its partnership with Translate Bio.