Sanofi, GSK, AstraZeneca, Moderna: The race towards a covid-19 vaccine
Share article:
Share article:

Sanofi, GSK, AstraZeneca, Moderna: The race towards a covid-19 vaccine

© Belga

Sanofi, one of the world’s main vaccine producers, is working on the development of two vaccines against Covid-19, expected to be produced in 2021.

The French company claims to be very well placed to produce a vaccine, which would be reliable and available in large quantities.

Another vaccine, developed by British GSK, uses so-called recombinant DNA technology, already used for an influenza vaccine. It is expected to undergo clinical trials in September and be available in the first half of 2021, a little earlier than what Sanofi initially announced. The group says it can produce up to a billion doses a year.

Sanofi would welcome the success of any laboratory that offers an effective and safe vaccine, but “there is a good chance that it will not happen. We are a little slower but we are more likely to succeed,” assured Sanofi’s managing director Paul Hudson during a press briefing earlier in the week.

Sanofi is also collaborating with Translate Bio, a US based biotechnology company, for a vaccine based on mRNA technology. The laboratory plans to start a phase I clinical study by the end of the year and, if positive, obtain approval in the second half of next year for mass production.

Other laboratories have already started clinical trials, including American biotech Moderna, which wants to enter its third and last phase in July.

British Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford say they expect results this fall on the effectiveness of the vaccine they are currently jointly developing.

Asked about this apparent delay compared to Sanofi’s competitors, Hudson confidently said: “We are the only vaccine in the race that offers a proven platform that works on a large scale,” based on the recombinant DNA technology. “Our over 70% probability of obtaining efficacy (on the vaccine) is probably higher than anyone else’s.”

Sanofi, which had caused anger in May by mentioning the possibility of serving the United States first, reiterated its desire to make its potential vaccine available to all.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Aggression against railway staff more than doubled since 2020
In the first three quarters of 2021, the number of reports of aggression against national railway company SNCB's staff has more than doubled compared ...
Intervention hotline 1722 activated following bad weather warnings
Following bad weather warnings from Belgium's Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI), the Federal Public Service (FPS) Home Affairs has ...
Thousands march in Brussels to raise awareness of violence against women
More than 3,000 people took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday afternoon for a national march to raise awareness of violence against women in ...
Efficacy of vaccines against new variant known in a few weeks, virologist says
The efficacy of the current coronavirus vaccines against the new Omicron variant will be clear in one to two weeks, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst ...
Scientists could have communicated better during pandemic, survey shows
The majority of Flemish people continue to trust scientists, however, only half of them feel scientists communicated understandably during the ...
Closing borders and new travel restrictions: Countries react to Omicron variant
As more cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus are being reported across the world, more and more countries are imposing tougher travel ...
Several rush hour train services to be scrapped from Monday
Up to ten peak time trains to and from Brussels will be temporarily cancelled starting from Monday, Belgian railway company SNCB announced this ...
Europe’s largest vintage clothes store is in Ghent this weekend
Europe's largest pop-up store for second-hand clothes is once again setting up shop in Ghent on Sunday, offering more than five tonnes of vintage ...
Animal welfare in EU’s pig meat sector: What’s wrong?
EU has put into place legislation to ensure that animal welfare conditions are respected in its agricultural policy but the breaches of its ...
‘Not feasible’: Doctors refuse to follow new testing strategy
Doctors have warned they will not follow the government's adapted testing strategy which would see vaccinated people who were in close contact with a ...
Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...