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Sanofi (SNY) Ends mRNA COVID Vaccine Bid Despite Positive Data

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Sanofi SNY announced plans to drop the development of its own mRNA-based COVID vaccine citing the success of Pfizer PFE /BioNTech and Moderna MRNA in this field amid the pandemic. Sanofi said that the market for mRNA vaccines is saturated as both these companies are sufficiently supplying the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

This France-based pharma giant acquired the mRNA-based COVID vaccine candidate as part of its recent acquisition of longtime partner Translate Bio in an all-cash deal for $3.2 billion.

The decision to stop the development of the mRNA COVID vaccine came despite positive phase I/II study interim results. Interim data from Sanofi’s phase I/II study of its mRNA-based vaccine candidate showed neutralizing antibody seroconversion in 91% to 100% of study participants, two weeks after the second dose was given across the three dosages tested. Sanofi has decided not to pursue a phase III study on the candidate. Sanofi will instead focus on the development of its adjuvanted recombinant protein candidate vaccine, which it is developing in partnership with Glaxo GSK in a pivotal phase III study.

So far this year, Sanofi’s shares have declined 1.4% against the industry’s 8.2% increase.

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Zacks Investment Research

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Sanofi/Glaxo’s vaccine is being developed by combining Sanofi’s recombinant protein-based technology with Glaxo’s pandemic adjuvant technology. In addition, the companies have expanded the program and began booster studies on this vaccine in the United States, Australia, France, and the UK this summer.

The acquisition of Translate Bio added the latter’s promising mRNA technology platform to Sanofi’s portfolio to develop therapeutics and vaccines. Sanofi has decided to transform the acquired platform to modified mRNA. The Translate COVID-19 vaccine was a so-called unmodified mRNA vaccine while Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines are modified mRNA vaccines. Sanofi plans to develop a modified quadrivalent mRNA-based flu vaccine, for which it targets to initiate clinical studies in 2022.

Sanofi and Translate Bio formed a collaboration in 2018 to develop mRNA vaccines. The deal was further expanded in 2020 to make mRNA vaccines for several infectious diseases

Sanofi currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.


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Sanofi (SNY) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Pfizer Inc. (PFE) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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