Coronavirus: France starts vaccine trials

France's first trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine start this month at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Connexion spoke to its scientific director Christophe d’Enfert,
France's first trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine start this month at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

France's first trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine start this month at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Connexion spoke to its scientific director Christophe d’Enfert.

France leads the way in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine

The Institut Pasteur, world-renowned for its work on infectious diseases since founder Louis Pasteur developed vaccines against illnesses including rabies in the 19th century, is now leading the way in France on a Covid-19 vaccine. France is also teaming up with three other EU countries to form an “inclusive vaccine alliance” to source vaccines for EU nations and placing an order for up to 400million doses of one particular vaccine being tested by Oxford University.

UK-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has pledged to supply that vaccine at cost price. It is already in human trials and may be available before the end of the year.

Is it correct you are ready to start human clinical trials this month?

That’s right. This concerns one of our vaccine projects that is based on a measles vaccine that we have engineered to be used against the Covid-19 virus. We have been running animal experiments and are launching phase 1 clinical trials [with people] in France and Belgium in July. We know our vaccine is inducing production of antibodies, especially “neutralising” ones ...

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