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GSK, Sanofi begin new COVID-19 vaccine trial of a protein-based vaccine

British-French Pharmaceutical giants, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi announced they had started a new clinical trial of their protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

While the two organizations aim to get done with the final testing in the second quarter, the duo anticipates the approval of the vaccine by the fourth quarter after having originally targeted the first half of the year.

The GSK and Sanofi declared the commencement of their vaccine trials after a fall back in December, which held up the vaccine’s approval. The unsatisfactory results obtained back in December showed an insufficient response to the older people, which are thought to be caused by an inadequate concentration of the antigen used in the vaccine, according to a statement made by GSK and Sanofi. 

According to a report by CNBC, the organizations said the new trial will mainly target the evaluation of safety, tolerability, and immune response to the vaccine in 720 healthy adults between 18 to 59 years and those 60 years and above, from across the United States, Honduras, and Panama. The injections are to be given 21 days apart.

The vaccine candidate by GSK and Sanofi uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as in one of the seasonal influenza vaccines developed by Sanofi, which will be combined with an adjuvant, developed by GSK. 

“Over the past few weeks, our teams have worked to refine the antigen formulation of our recombinant-protein vaccine, based on learnings from our initial Phase ½ study,” said Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Head of Sanofi Pasteur.  

The enhancement of the trial program is strengthened by the United States’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Developed Authority (BARDA), said GSK. 

Sanofi and GSK have obtained deals to supply their vaccine to the United States, the European Union, Britain, and Canada, and also plan to provide shots to the World Health Organization’s COVAX program.

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ARTICLE: LIDIYA SHILU

SCIENCE/HEALTH EDITOR: KYLE SMITH

PHOTO CREDITS: THE STRAITS TIMES

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