Pharma groups Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have said the rollout of their vaccine against Covid-19 will be delayed at least until the last quarter of 2021 because the initial version failed to produce a strong immune response in the elderly.
The two companies announced on Friday that early test 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.”
They said that they planned to conduct further studies with an improved antigen formulation, and that the product was now expected to be available in the fourth quarter of next year provided the development plan was completed successfully.
Both companies said they were disappointed by the results of the early trials of the vaccine. “Our aim now is to work closely with our partner Sanofi to develop this vaccine, with an improved antigen formulation, for it to make a meaningful contribution to preventing Covid-19,” said Roger Connor, president of GSK Vaccines.