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Sanofi Drops mRNA COVID Vaccine Plans Due to Saturated Market

Sanofi says its COVID vaccine candidate has positive test results, but the company is ready to drop its development because of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Shares of Sanofi  (SNY) - Get Sanofi Sponsored ADR Report were down Tuesday after the company said that it is shelving its plans for a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine despite positive early test results due to a saturated market. 

The company reported positive interim results from a Phase 1/2 study of its vaccine candidate, showing that the treatment neutralized antibody seroconversion in 91% to 100% of study participants. 

However, the French healthcare company said it will ditch plans for its own mRNA COVID-19 vaccine due to the level of dominance achieved by BioNTech-Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and Moderna's  (MRNA) - Get Moderna, Inc. Report vaccines. 

Those companies have delivered close to 1.5 billion doses of their vaccines, according to Reuters, and are the largest suppliers of vaccines to Western countries. 

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Instead, the company will focus its fight against COVID-19 on a recombinant protein candidate vaccine it is developing in conjunction with GlaxoSmithKline  (GSK) - Get GlaxoSmithKline plc Sponsored ADR Report

Despite exiting the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine race, Sanofi says it will use the technology it has to develop a flu mRNA vaccine by 2022. 

"These results will clearly help inform the path forward for our mRNA development programs. Today, we have a promising mRNA platform, which we’re taking to the next level in development, including moving to modified mRNA, and against other diseases, including flu," said Jean-Francois Toussaint, global head of research and development for Sanofi.

As of June 30, Sanofi has 83 drug and vaccine projects in its research and development pipeline with 35 that are in Phase 3 or have been submitted to regulatory authorities for approval.

Shares of Sanofi were down 0.75% to $47.76 in morning trading Tuesday.