Covid: Institut Pasteur to stop developing their main vaccine, as results are not forthcoming

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 25 January 2021 at 16h14
Bad news in the fight against Covid! Institut Pasteur has announced they are stopping the development of their main vaccine project - currently completing clinical trial - as results are not forthcoming. A vaccine that was yet tested in humans this summer and that yet had encouraging results.

Research for a vaccine to fight against coronavirus stops dead for Institut Pasteur... After several clinical trials in animals this spring, the scientific institution announced they are stopping the development of one of their main coronavirus vaccine projects as they lack satisfactory results in the design of a candidate during their clinical trial. An announcement made this Monday January 25, 2021 by the Institute in a release.

"In these trials involving the first administration to humans, the vaccine candidate was well tolerated, but the immune responses induced by the vaccine were inferior to both those observed in individuals who had recovered from natural infection and those observed with the vaccines currently authorized for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19", the Institute explains. They went on: "The Institut Pasteur will continue to pursue the development of other vaccine candidates which have reached preclinical phase, alongside its concerted scientific efforts to tackle the COVID-19 epidemic".

Yet, their product sounded promising... In June 2020, Institut Pasteur announced with their scientific head Christophe d’Enfert to our peers at Le Point, that a first vaccine will be tested in humans from July, in “90 volunteers in France and Belgium”. A first candidate developed in partnership with pharmaceutical MSD group and tested throughout a “first clinical phase”.

The conception of this first vaccine is far from being unknown and has already proven its worth: “We will use an attenuated strain from the measles virus, especially used to vaccinate against measles, and which genetic heritage has been modified so that it can products the Spike protein enabling coronavirus to enter our cellsInstitut Pasteur scientific head says. Last vaccine to have been conceived with the same method: the vaccine to fight against chikungunya, currently in phase 3 of testing, last stage before being put on the market.

The goal of this first test in humans is to enable “both to assess its innocuity in human beings and its capacity to induce to an immune responseChristophe d’Enfert explains. If tests are good and the different clinical phases go on smoothly, with a viable vaccine at the end, it could be commercialized for “the first 2021 semester”. Whatever happens, other vaccines are being studied across the world and some are already available on the market.

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