Already criticized for being late a year ago, Sanofi is again postponing the arrival of its Covid-19 vaccine to 2022

When will a French vaccine against Covid-19 be available? While recall campaigns for a third dose have already been launched in Western countries for several weeks, the prospect of soon seeing a tricolor flagship in the fray is diminishing. On Wednesday, December 15, Sanofi and its partner, the British laboratory GSK, indicated that the final results of the clinical trial of the vaccine, currently in phase 3 – the last step before the application for marketing authorization -, and initially expected at the end of 2021, should ultimately only be available “First quarter 2022”. This announcement came on the occasion of the publication of preliminary data on the efficacy study of their vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in the context of a booster use.

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A new setback for the French laboratory, already strongly criticized a year ago after the announcement of a dosage error during phase 1 and 2 clinical trials which had resulted in several months of delay in the development of its product. At the end of September, the manufacturer, one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world excluding Covid-19, still hoped to deliver its first doses at the beginning of 2022. “Here is the first vial of antigen of our recombinant protein vaccine against Covid-19”, even rejoiced Thomas Triomphe, executive vice-president of Sanofi Pasteur and head of the vaccines branch of the pharmaceutical laboratory, during a press conference in Paris on September 28, brandishing a small vial containing the precious liquid .

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Preliminary “positive” results

After missing the primary vaccination market against Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, its main rivals whose vaccines have been marketed and injected for several months already, the pharmaceutical company relied on the third dose for the use of his vaccine. It is with this objective that he launched a study during the summer to assess the relevance of his product during a booster injection. The preliminary results unveiled this Wednesday by the French group, and which show “A multiplication of the order of 9 to 43 in neutralizing antibodies, regardless of the vaccine received as a primary vaccination” and “In all the age groups studied”, were moreover judged “Positive” by the pharmaceutical company, which considers that it has a “Strong booster vaccine candidate” to fight the virus. “As the pandemic threat continues with the currently dominant Delta variant and Omicron variant rapidly gaining ground, booster vaccines will continue to be needed to help protect populations over time.”, underlines his partner, Roger Connor, president of GSK Vaccines.

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