MSF Urges Sanofi to Share Technology and Know-how with WHO’s mRNA Vaccine Hub
Sanofi faces calls for technology sharing after deciding to abandon its promising mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Following news that Sanofi, a French pharma company, will abandon its promising mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) called for the corporation to transfer the vaccine technology and know-how to the WHO-led COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub in South Africa.

Despite the existence of two approved mRNA vaccines and 13 candidates in advanced stages of development, the WHO mRNA hub has yet to receive any technology transfers.

Any mRNA know-how shared with the WHO hub could save time and help the hub’s efforts towards developing a safe and effective mRNA vaccine for low- and middle-income countries, said MSF.

In spite of publishing positive Phase 1/2 study interim results for its vaccine candidate, Sanofi announced on Tuesday that it would not pursue its development due to the dominance of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine market by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech.

“Transferring Sanofi’s mRNA platform to the WHO hub could boost and accelerate the hub’s R&D efforts by giving access to the technical and clinical data generated by Sanofi thus far,” said MSF’s statement. “If successful, the hub would then assist multiple able manufacturers in low- and middle-income countries to start production of COVID-19 and other mRNA-based vaccines for the current and future pandemics.”

“Less than one percent of mRNA vaccine deliveries has reached the poorest half of the world, while willing and able producers in low- and middle-income countries are desperately requesting to access the needed technology and know-how from corporations in high-income countries, to no avail,” said Alain Alsalhani, Vaccines and Special Projects Pharmacist at MSF’s Access Campaign.

The transfer of technology could allow low- and middle-income countries to no longer be entirely dependent on the vaccines produced in high-income countries and would enable their populations to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases at the same time as people living in high-income countries.

Image Credits: Sanofi.

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