Sanofi Drops Plans for Messenger RNA Vaccine Against Virus

September 28, 2021

PARIS — French drugmaker Sanofi says it is shelving plans for a COVID-19 vaccine based on messenger RNA but will develop a new flu vaccine.

The Paris-based company says it will continue to develop another vaccine candidate already undergoing late-stage human trials. That vaccine, developed with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, is being tested as a COVID-19 booster.

Sanofi recently expanded trials of that recombinant protein vaccine as a booster dose to extend immunity for people inoculated with a variety of other vaccines. Results from that study are expected later this year.

Messenger RNA vaccines are currently made by Pfizer and Moderna. Sanofi officials say they decided it wasn’t worth pursuing that technology for COVID-19 vaccines, given how those vaccines are widely available.

They plan to use the mRNA technology to develop a new flu vaccine, with clinical studies expected to start next year, according to Jean-Francois Toussaint, global head of research and development at Sanofi’s vaccine unit.


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