Company coronavirus news summary – Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine could be ready by October – Sanofi and GSK start clinical trials of their Covid-19 vaccine

4 September 2020 (Last Updated September 4th, 2020 09:10)

4 September 2020 

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have initiated a Phase I/II clinical trial to evaluate their adjuvanted recombinant protein-based vaccine candidate against Covid-19. The study will assess the vaccine candidate's safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity in 440 healthy adults at 11 sites in the US. Initial data from the trial are expected in December this year.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has reported that a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, developed by the company's subsidiary Janssen, prevented severe disease in preclinical studies. Data from Syrian golden hamsters infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus showed that the vaccine was able to trigger an immune response, leading to neutralising antibodies against the virus. In addition, the vaccine prevented severe clinical disease, including weight loss, pneumonia and mortality, in the animals.

AstraZeneca has entered into a supply agreement with US-based Albany Molecular Research for the manufacture of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222. Albany Molecular will carry out sterile fill/finish of AZD1222 at its facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The aim is to leverage the manufacturing capacity at the facility to produce millions of doses of the vaccine per year.

During a digital event hosted by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, Pfizer has said that early efficacy results of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate could be available as early as next month. The company’s CEO Albert Bourla noted the enrolment of approximately 23,000 participants for a Phase III trial of the vaccine so far. If positive results are obtained, the company plans to seek regulatory approval immediately.