French vaccine champion Sanofi abandons Covid mRNA jab after months of delays –

Sanofi is abandoning its efforts to develop a flagship Covid-19 jab after repeated delays, in a blow to France’s efforts to create a national champion in the fight against the disease.

The French pharmaceutical company said on Tuesday that repeated setbacks mean the shot – based on mRNA, or messenger RNA – will no longer attract meaningful sales interest because so many rivals have already reached the market.

It came as bosses released trial data showing that the jab was able to create a strong immune reaction. 

Thomas Triomphe, head of the Sanofi Pasteur vaccines division, said: “Would it, responsibly, be the best use of this wealth of science afforded by mRNA vaccines to make a Covid-19 vaccine and try and bring another mRNA Covid-19 vaccine to people who already today may not want an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine? Clearly not.

“If we had come to market at the end of 2022 or early 2023, we would have been late and with no differentiation.”

Third phase trials for the vaccine will no longer take place. 

The decision to abandon that jab comes after a separate Sanofi effort faced a setback last year, when another Covid vaccine it is developing with with GlaxoSmithKline was delayed following a dosing error.

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