1 Sanofi seems to see the end of the tunnel
2 New setbacks for Valneva
3 The Spanish Hipra and its giga-order of 250 million doses
With almost two years behind the first RNA anti-covid vaccines, the French laboratory Sanofi hopes to be able to obtain, “a priori in the coming weeks”, authorization from the European Medicines Agency for its booster vaccine. Based on the Beta variant, it uses classic recombinant protein technology – the same as its flu product.
“Production has started to make the vaccine available for vaccination campaigns later in the year,” a Sanofi spokesperson told Telegram. 75 million doses have been ordered by European Union countries and the United Kingdom. Including 20 million in France. Faced with the BA.1 variant of Omicron, the French vaccine, which includes an adjuvant manufactured by the British company GSK, has shown promising efficacy: according to the Coviboost study conducted under the supervision of Professor Odile Launay in eleven hospitals in France, it elicited a higher neutralizing antibody response as a booster dose than Pfizer’s first RNA vaccine. The scientists conclude that “new vaccines containing the Beta variant spike protein may represent an attractive strategy for broader protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants”. To measure its effectiveness against BA.5 and BA.4, the strains that currently circulate the most, “additional studies are underway,” says the hexagonal giant.
The Franco-Austrian laboratory Valneva, located in Saint-Herbain, near Nantes (44), is still going through a bad patch with its anti-covid vaccine based on inactivated virus technology. The company announced on Friday that it would “suspend production” and end its partnership with the subcontractor who produced the active substance of the vaccine, the German IDT Biologika. Valneva will have to pay him “up to 36.2 million euros in cash and the equivalent of 4.5 million euros in equipment”.
This is a direct consequence of the drastic reduction in the volume of orders at European level – from 60 million doses to only 1.25 million – decided last July. The Valneva vaccine does not have an authorization to be used as a booster dose, which limits its interest for States. France has also not placed an order with the Franco-Austrian laboratory. However, the latter specified, at the end of August, that he had obtained “first positive results” by using his vaccine as a booster shot with people who had been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca product.
The Spanish pharmaceutical firm Hipra signed, at the very beginning of August, a contract for 250 million doses with the European Commission, which can be used as a recall. The Catalan company has developed a vaccine with the same type of technology as that of Sanofi, except that it contains two different spike proteins, those of the Alpha and Beta variants. Its full evaluation was launched by the European Medicines Agency at the end of March, at the same time as that of the Sanofi vaccine.
letelegramme Fr Trans