"Our mRNA vaccine candidate [MRT5500] is the result of our expertise in infectious diseases coupled with the innovative technologies of our partner. Initiating the Phase 1/2 trial represents an important step forward in our goal of bringing another effective vaccine to the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," Thomas Triomphe, the executive vice president and global head of Sanofi Pasteur, was quoted as saying in a statement.
The companies expect the interim results of the trial, comprising 415 individuals aged over 18 to become available in the third quarter of the year. The trial will be conducted on 13 investigational sites.
Besides, the preclinical trials are still underway and will continue for several months more to evaluate the effectiveness of other mRNA candidates against the coronavirus, the statement said.
Sanofi and Translate Bio kicked off the MRT5500 project in June 2020, four months after their 2018 agreement on joint mRNA vaccine development was expanded to include a vaccine against COVID-19.
Besides the mRNA candidate, Sanofi is also engaged in the development of the vaccine jointly with the UK-based GSK drugmaker. The second production phase of their vaccine, expected to be released on the market in late 2021, began in late February.