SAN Stock Up 0.52%, Sanofi to Begin Human Trials of Second COVID-19 Vaccine

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by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
SAN Stock Up 0.52%, Sanofi to Begin Human Trials of Second COVID-19 Vaccine
Photo: Depositphotos

Sanofi will begin testing its second COVID-19 vaccine on 415 people today. First results are expected sometime between July and September 2021.

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi SA (EPA: SAN), has announced the start of human trials for its second COVID-19 vaccine. Jointly developed with US mRNA therapeutics company Translate Bio the vaccine will be tested starting today, with over 400 people tested upon conclusion. 

Testing the Second Sanofi Vaccine 

According to reports, Sanofi will conduct the test on a total of 415 persons. The company will use adult test subjects in the first trials, across 13 locations. Although the company did not specify the test duration, interim test results are expected sometime in the third quarter of the year. Each participant will get at least a single dose of the second vaccine. However, some participants will receive two doses, given 21 days apart. 

Generally, COVID-19 vaccines use mRNA (messenger RiboNucleic Acid). This creates a part of the virus genetic material, which causes an immune response when injected into the body. COVID-19 vaccines also require very low maintenance temperatures. For instance, the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine requires storage at –70 degrees Celsius. Post-thawing, the vaccine has a life span of five days at 2-8 degrees Celsius. 

Sanofi, however, hopes that it can store its vaccine at –20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit), requiring considerably less effort than the BioNTechPfizer alternative. It also hopes that the vaccine can remain stable without much of a lifespan if kept at 2-8 degrees Celsius. 

In December 2020, Sanofi announced that the vaccine it had jointly developed with GlaxoSmithKline Plc (NYSE: GSK) would not be released as expected. In a statement published at the time, the company said it would not go ahead because the vaccine did not show adequate efficiency in patients older than 50 years. The vaccine, however, showed more promise with younger patients. 

Sanofi previously said it hoped for “earliest potential approval” for its vaccine before the end of 2021’s second quarter. However, speaking with Le Journal Du Dimanche, the company CEO Paul Judson conceded that the vaccine “will not be ready this year.” 

Sanofi Stock 

Over the last week, Sanofi stock has climbed 7.4%. Currently, selling at 80.72 euros after its last 80.18 euros close, Sanofi has climbed 4.48% in the last five days and 3.44% in the past month. Three-month and year-to-date numbers show increases of 2.97% and 2.73%, respectively. Also, in the last one year, the stock has pulled in a 10.13% gain. These numbers warrant a look at the company’s Return on Equity (ROE). 

The ROE is a metric calculated by dividing a company’s net profit by its shareholders’ equity. Used to measure earnings growth, Sanofi’s ROE looks favorable. With an industry average of 13%, the company has a 20% ROE. Also, in the last five years, the pharmaceutical giant’s net income has grown by 17%. 

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