Production of another COVID-19 vaccine to begin in weeks

Pharma firms Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline say they will begin production of another potential vaccine against COVID-19 within weeks

PARIS — Production of another potential vaccine against COVID-19 will begin within weeks, its developers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline said Thursday as they launched a large trial enrolling 35,000 adult volunteers in the United States, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

If the trial is successful, regulators could approve the vaccine for use in the last three months of the year, the drugmakers said in a statement.

“Manufacturing will begin in the coming weeks to enable rapid access to the vaccine, should it be approved,” they said.

Their statement quoted Thomas Triomphe, who leads vaccine research and development at Sanofi Pasteur, as saying: “We are encouraged to see first vaccinations starting to take place in such an important, pivotal Phase 3 study.”

Earlier this month, the firms said their vaccine candidate triggered strong immune responses in all adult age groups in preliminary trials after an earlier setback, boosting optimism the shot may join the fight against the pandemic this year.

After two doses of the vaccine candidate, participants showed antibodies in line with those found in people who had recovered from the disease, according to results of the previous, smaller trial.

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