Sanofi finally has its Covid vaccine

Posted Nov 10, 2022, 8:55 PMUpdated on Nov. 10, 2022, 9:47 p.m.

This is the epilogue of a soap opera that will have lasted two years: the vaccine against Covid-19 from the French laboratory Sanofi was approved by the European Union on Thursday, after a favorable opinion issued by the European Medicines Agency. (EMA). VidPrevtyn Beta, based on so-called recombinant protein technology, can thus be used as a booster dose.

VidPrevtyn Beta is indicated for booster vaccination in adults who have previously received a vaccine against Covid-19 with messenger RNA or adenovirus, indicates the laboratory. The doses are ready for distribution in European Union countries and the United Kingdom, in accordance with advance purchase agreements, covering 70 million doses, he said.

A market already taken

Jointly developed by Sanofi and Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, this vaccine has shown positive results against the Omicron variant in clinical trials – it is formulated with the Beta variant antigen and GSK’s adjuvant. “A booster dose of VidPrevtyn Beta should be at least as effective as Comirnaty (from Pfizer) in restoring protection against Covid-19,” say European authorities.

This new serum joins those of the German-American tandem Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Novavax and Valneva, already approved in Europe.

The good news of the day does not erase the bad dream of the Covid at Sanofi. The French laboratory could only accept the total domination on the subject of the vaccine of RNA technology and two pioneering biotechs in the field (American Moderna and German BioNTech), and failed to take advantage of its great expertise in vaccines to do as well as other historical laboratories and their more classic doses, or other biotechs Novavax and Valneva.

Bad dream

Offside or almost in the RNA from the start, the development of the “normal” vaccine promised to the authorities by the boss Paul Hudson experienced a crossing of the desert, a problem of dosage during clinical trials then the difficulty in finding the testers l having largely delayed. Basically, the French vaccine was planned for the winter of 2021/2022…

“It is, it must be recognized, a failure […] compared to the speed that it was necessary”, had admitted the president of Sanofi, Serge Weinberg, before the general assembly of the shareholders, last May. It is also a nuisance for France, which was unable to display the quality of its medical research during the pandemic.

The 70 million doses of the new vaccine are arriving today in a market occupied by others, where Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech have already taken the lion’s share, together raking in tens of billions of dollars in profits. Perhaps the Sanofi vaccine will be able to serve the last recalcitrants of RNA.

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