By Pietro Lombardi

 

Sanofi SA and GlaxoSmithKline PLC are starting large-scale human trials of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which will involve more than 35,000 people, and said the vaccine could be approved by the end of the year.

French Sanofi and U.K.-based GSK said Thursday that the phase 3 study will use two formulations; one will target the original strain, while the other will target the so-called South African variant.

"The design of the Phase 3, conducted across a broad diversity of geographies, also allows evaluation of the efficacy of the candidate against a variety of circulating variants," the companies said.

The vaccine candidate may be approved in the last quarter of the year, depending on the outcome of the study and regulatory reviews. Production will start in coming weeks, so that the vaccine will be quickly accessible if it is approved.

A booster study will also start in coming weeks, to evaluate the vaccine's ability to generate a strong booster response regardless of initial vaccine platform received.

 

Write to Pietro Lombardi at pietro.lombardi@wsj.com; @pietrolombard10

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 27, 2021 02:14 ET (06:14 GMT)

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