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FILE PHOTO: A Sanofi logo is seen during the company’s annual results news conference in Paris, France, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier//File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – Sanofi on Tuesday announced positive interim results from its early-stage study for the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate it is developing with Translate Bio, a boost for the French drug company after delays with its other shot.

Sanofi said initial data Phase I/II from these results showed neutralising antibody seroconversion in 91%-100% of study participants, two weeks after a second injection, across all three dosages tested.

“These results will clearly help inform the path forward for our mRNA development programs,” said Jean-Francois Toussaint, global head of research and development at Sanofi Pasteur.

No safety concerns were observed and the tolerability profile is comparable to that of other unmodified mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, the company said. Further data will be presented at a later date.

It did not say if these results will pave the way for the launch of late-stage human trials to test the shot’s efficacy, allopurinol category which, if positive, would be the final step before applying for regulatory approval.

Sanofi is under pressure to revive its drug pipeline and eager to overcome setbacks in the COVID-19 vaccine race. It said these results showed the potential behind the Translate Bio company it recently acquired.

The company is also testing a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, but the progress of that shot was delayed after disappointing early results late last year.

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