Sanofi releases vaccine study results, Dr Gottlieb comments on mask-wearing

on May 17, 2021
  • Sanofi's COVID-19 vaccine shows promising results in early-stage clinical trials.
  • The drugmaker to move ahead with Phase III study involving 35,000 adults.
  • Dr Gottlieb says CDC's updated guidance for masks incentivizes vaccination.

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Sanofi (EPA: SAN) said on Monday its candidate COVID-19 vaccine that it developed with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline (LON: GSK) showed promising results in early-stage clinical trials, paving the way to move ahead with a late-stage trial. Sanofi said:

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“The Phase II interim results showed 95% to 100% seroconversion following a second injection in all age groups and across all doses, with acceptable tolerability and no safety concerns.”

Sanofi & GSK are aiming for vaccine approval by the fourth quarter

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The Phase III study, Sanofi added, will invite participation from over 35,000 adults. Upon positive results, approval for its vaccine will likely arrive by Q4. Last year in December, the use of the experimental vaccine in older adults produced an inadequate immune response due to weak antigen formulation, pushing Sanofi and GSK into restarting their trial.   

Sanofi’s global head of medical for vaccines, Su-Peing Ng, said on Monday:

“Interestingly, we also observed that our vaccine generated a higher antibody response in those with previous COVID-19 infection. We are analysing this further as it may suggest our vaccine could serve as a potential booster.”

The Phase II trial, as per the two drug manufacturers, did not test the vaccine against Coronavirus variants. The late-stage study, however, will try it against several strains, including B.1.351. Sanofi shares closed the regular session a little under 1% up in the stock market on Monday.

Dr Scott Gottlieb comments on CDC’s updated guidance for face masks

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In related news, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recently lifted the requirement to wear masks for fully vaccinated people in most indoor and outdoor settings. Commenting on it, Dr Scott Gottlieb (former FDA commissioner) said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”:

“By June, nobody is going to be wearing masks. By June, I think, the prevalence of COVID is going to be sufficiently low in this country, and we’re just not going to be concerned about it.”

Despite CDC’s announcement, states and localities are still authorised to implement their own policies regarding masks. According to Gottlieb, CDC’s updated guidance will help address vaccination-related hesitation in Americans. The incentive, he added, might increase the vaccinated population by up to 5%.

Data from CDC also highlighted that 47% of the United States population has so far received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 37% of the people, as per the data, has been fully vaccinated.

Commenting on the decline in new infections across the country, Gottlieb said:

“I think prevalence is really collapsing around the country, and we’re going to be at a point where there’s very little infection, and the individual risk to a person is low if you’re dealing with an otherwise immunocompetent person.”


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