Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Free Article Join Over 1 Million Premium Members And Get More In-Depth Stock Guidance and Research

Here's What Investors Need to Know About Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline's COVID Vaccine Setback

By Brian Orelli, PhD - Dec 22, 2020 at 10:22AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Hopefully, the backup plan works.

Sanofi ( SNY 1.04% ) and GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK 1.24% ) hit a bit of a speed bump with their coronavirus vaccine, which didn't produce a robust immune response in clinical trial participants 50 and older. In this video from Motley Fool Live, recorded on Dec. 14, Corinne Cardina, bureau chief of healthcare and cannabis for, and contributor Brian Orelli discuss the data and how the vaccine differs from the currently authorized vaccines. They also talk about Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline's backup plan to save the program.

Corinne Cardina: Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, they announced last week that their vaccine candidate failed to stimulate the desired immune response, and this was in the age group of 50 and older. So they're going to be delaying the availability to the second half of 2021. Can you remind us what approach their vaccine is taking, and what are they going to do to figure out the way forward in the wake of this disappointing news?

Brian Orelli: So this a more traditional protein-based vaccine. So they are putting in one of the proteins that is on the outside of the virus. Sanofi is making the protein, and then GlaxoSmithKline makes an adjuvant, so that's something that stimulates the immune system to react to the protein. This is downstream of the mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and BioNTech and then Moderna, and then even farther downstream from the adenovirus vaccines like Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.

It's not unusual to see older patients have a muted response, but it's important for the final vaccines to have it work both in younger patients and in older patients. The new formulation of the protein appears to work better in animal studies. They're going to test it in humans next. The plan is -- rather than taking the older formulation into phase 3 -- they're going to test the new formulation in a phase 2b study, and then hopefully, once they prove it works better than the old one in humans, they're going to run that in phase 3.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Sanofi Stock Quote
$47.56 (1.04%) $0.49
GlaxoSmithKline plc Stock Quote
GlaxoSmithKline plc
$41.76 (1.24%) $0.51

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 12/07/2021.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Our Most Popular Articles

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with the Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from the Motley Fool's premium services.