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Coronavirus: Pharmaceutical boss says two patients prepared for trials of vaccine

The boss of a French pharmaceutical company has said the firm is “pulling out all the stops” to bring a medical trial involving treatment for coronavirus to fruition.

Hugo Fry, UK managing director for Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi, said the firm has existing products which could help treat people with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

He added the firm was “working closely” with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to get “things moving” in Britain and two people were currently being lined up for vaccine trials.

‘We’re pulling out all the stops’

Speaking on Sky News’ Ian King Live, Mr Fry said: “These treatments are not currently indicated for this, and they don’t have the clinical evidence behind them.

“Now, what Sanofi is doing, is it massively investing in the manufacturing and capacity of these treatments, so that we can make them available for clinical trials to then have the base on which to maybe establish a treatment.”


He added that while the medicines were promising, they would manage the symptoms of the virus rather than offering immunity to patients.

“Real immunity will come from a vaccine and that’s why a lot of efforts at Sanofi are behind vaccines,” he said.

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“We’ve got two candidates up and running and we really hope to push those forward with our great history in this area.

“With the treatments, they’re looking to see whether that can control what’s going on with patients, where they can reduce the viral load in them and make sure that they are less likely to be majorly affected by the virus.”

Mr Fry also praised the government collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry in the USA, and urged for a similar relationship to be forged in the UK.

Image: NHS workers are being tested for COVID-19 at Chessington World of Adventures

“They have a fabulous organisation that is funded by the government called the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority,” he said.

“They’ve already put all the of thinking, the resource, the finance behind working on, for example, a vaccine against coronavirus.

“It would be very preferable if Europe or other countries in Europe had something similar up, ready to go, well resourced, well financed.”

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