The French Pasteur Institute said on Monday that it was discontinuing the development of the Covid-19 vaccine with the American pharmaceutical company Merck after the results of clinical trials proved disappointing.
The partners announced a link in May last year to develop a stroke based on an existing measles vaccine, which was launched in phase 1 of clinical trials in August.
“In these first human trials, the future vaccine was well tolerated, but elicited immune responses that were lower than those seen in people who recovered naturally and those seen in authorized vaccines,”
The announcement is a further blow to hopes for a French-led French vaccine following the latest news that leading national pharmaceutical company Sanofi is also struggling to bring its vaccine candidate to market.
In December, Sanofi announced that its strike would be best prepared by the end of 2021, and the government is now encouraging the group to help produce competitive vaccines that are already approved for use in Europe.
These include products from the German-American relationship BioNTech / Pfizer and the American pharmaceutical group Moderna.
The UK has also authorized the use of a vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, which is being evaluated by European Union regulators.
The Pasteur Institute, named after the pioneering scientist Louis Pasteur, who developed a rabies vaccine in 1885, said it was working on two other Covid-19 vaccines that were not yet ready for clinical trials.
The decision to abandon the measles-based Covid vaccine “has no effect on the continuation of research by the Pastoral Institute on two other vaccine candidates who use different methodologies,” the statement said.