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March 15, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Sanofi/Translate Bio begin trials of mRNA vaccine candidate – EMA investigates potential vaccine link in bleeding events

By Chris Lo

Sanofi and Translate Bio, an mRNA therapeutics company, have initiated a human trial of their mRNA Covid-19 vaccine. This is the French drugmaker’s second coronavirus vaccine project, after the first protein-based jab developed with GlaxoSmithKline that was delayed last year. Sanofi and Translate Bio expect interim results of the Phase I/II study during the third quarter of 2021.

France’s health regulator, Haute Autorité de Santé, has approved the single-dose Covid-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson for use in the country. The Janssen Covid-19 vaccine has already been approved by European Union authorities, and can be administered among patients aged 18 years and older, including those aged 65 years and older, and patients suffering with other illnesses. Janssen’s vaccine will be the fourth Covid-19 vaccine to launch in the French market.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently investigating whether any of the three approved Covid-19 vaccines in the bloc may be linked to a blood clotting deficiency that can cause internal bleeding. According to the EMA, several instances of immune thrombocytopenia, a shortage of blood platelets that can lead to bruising and bleeding, have been identified in vaccine safety monitoring process. The agency is monitoring the reports of individuals who have received the Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines.

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