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Pharma giant Sanofi, tiny biotech firm to develop a COVID-19 vaccine

Pharma giant Sanofi, tiny biotech firm to develop a COVID-19 vaccine

A big pharma company and the tiny biotech firm joint their efforts once again to develop anticoronavirus vaccine. In fact, Sanofi and Translate first entered a collaboration in 2018 to develop other infectious disease vaccines.

While the two companies didn’t disclose the financial details of their partnership, they are ready to team up in developing a new vaccine against COVID-19. Translate Bio, Massachusetts-based biotech, and Sanofi to develop a coronavirus vaccine, their Friday statement reads.

Translate Bio’s specialization is messenger RNA (mRNA) drugs and vaccines. The genetic platform allows for speedy development that blows past traditional timelines for creating vaccines. Amid deteriorating situation with COVID-19, the speeding up is the key factor.

According to Massachusets researchers, instead of using viruses or proteins in a vaccine, mRNA works with just the genetic material from DNA that makes proteins. It is important to note, so far there are no mRNA vaccines on the pharmaceutical market, although several for various diseases are now being tested in humans.

The first potential COVID-19 vaccines are already being tested in people: Sanofi

Globally, there are more than 40 potential coronavirus vaccines in the works. Eight of these vaccines set to be tested in people this year.

Meanwhile, Sanofi is also developing another coronavirus vaccine, transforming its the most-suited candidate designed for the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak.

“We believe the more approaches we explore, the better our likelihood of success in achieving this goal,” said David Loew, Sanofi’s global head of vaccines.

However, Sanofi officials are warning that its vaccine won’t be ready for testing until late 2020 or early 2021. That’s why the partnership with Translate Bio remains a great hope – mRNA vaccines have featured some of the quickest timelines to reaching the clinic.

However, Sanofi spokesperson said that human testing will start not earlier than the end of 2020 or in early 2021.