Stopping the COVID “Spike”

As we count down to BIO Digital, our BIO: Beyond Imagination series highlights the technology and scientific advancements of BIO Digital participating companies and BIO member companies. Today’s feature is Sanofi and its work to develop a potential vaccine for COVID-19.

Beyond Imagination Member Spotlight: Sanofi

As COVID-19 continues its march across the planet, biotech companies are working on ways to address it. Until we develop a vaccine, however, the virus is likely to remain with us.

Meeting the challenge to develop a potential vaccine is Sanofi. Through Sanofi Pasteur, its vaccines global business, the company is collaborating with GSK and Translate Bio to develop COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

Vaccine Candidates

Using its DNA-based protein platform, one vaccine candidate in Sanofi’s pipeline is focused on testing the “spike” protein found on the surface of the virus. This “spike” protein is how the virus invades human cells. Sanofi joined forces with GSK to test an adjuvant on the “spike” protein, with the hope of creating a stronger immune response to the virus.  

Addressing Sanofi’s work with GSK, Paul Hudson, Sanofi’s Chief Executive Officer said, “As the world faces this unprecedented global health crisis, it is clear that no one company can go it alone. That is why Sanofi is continuing to complement its expertise and resources with our peers, such as GSK, with the goal to create and supply sufficient quantities of vaccines that will help stop this virus.”

Sanofi expects that the candidate vaccine may enter clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and could be available by the second half of 2021. 

Sanofi is also working with Translate Bio to develop a messenger RNA (mRNA) candidate vaccine. The mRNA coding for the SARS-COV-2 “spike” protein is injected into subjects with the hope that cells produce the “spike” protein coded by the mRNA, generating an immune response.  

COVID-19 may be the biggest challenge of our time for biotech companies. And it will take all their efforts and strong collaboration to stop it in its tracks. BIO is proud to support Sanofi’s work with GSK and Translate Bio in the race to think Beyond Imagination and find a potential vaccine that puts an end to COVID-19.

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