An experimental coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline and France’s Sanofi has showed an insufficient immune response among elderly patients.
The UK in July secured 60million doses of the prospective treatment, but it was today announced that any jab will likely not be ready before the end of 2021.
It puts a dent in hopes that a more conventional vaccine could be developed to fight the pandemic.
Britain is currently rolling out the Pfizer/BioNTech shot, which uses cutting-edge technology and has to be stored at ultra-low temperatures.
An employee works on a production line at the factory of British multinational pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, northern France
The UK in July secured 60million doses of the treatment, but any jab will now not likely be ready before the end of 2021
Sanofi and GSK said they planned to launch another study next year, hoping to come up with a more effective vaccine.
The French drugmaker said today’s results showed ‘an immune response comparable to patients who recovered from COVID-19 in adults aged 18 to 49 years, but a low immune response in older adults likely due to an insufficient concentration of the antigen.’
Sanofi said it would launch a phase 2b study in February of next year instead after a recent challenge study in non-human primates performed with an improved antigen formulation demonstrated better effects.
It said: ‘The study will include a proposed comparison with an authorized COVID-19 vaccine.
‘If data are positive, a global Phase III study could start in Q2 2021. Positive results from this study would lead to regulatory submissions in the second half of 2021, hence delaying the vaccine’s potential availability from mid-2021 to Q4 2021.’
An employee works on the tanks which will be used for the manufacture of the adjuvant in the Covid-19 vaccines, at the factory of British multinational pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, northern France
The two companies said they had ‘updated governments and the European Commission where a contractual commitment to purchase the vaccine has been made.’
The Government has ordered 40million doses of the Pfizer jab and the first were administered to the over-80s in hospitals this week.
It has also bought 7million doses of the Moderna vaccine and 100million of the much-anticipated Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, both of which are awaiting approval.