GlaxoSmithKline said Monday that a Phase 2 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine, developed with French partner Sanofi, showed a "strong neutralizing antibody response" in adult participates of all age groups and raised no safety issues. "We believe that this vaccine candidate can make a significant contribution to the ongoing fight against COVID-19 and will move to Phase 3 as soon as possible to meet our goal of making it available before the end of the year," said Roger Connor, president of GSK's vaccines program.
The Phase 3 trial, expected to start in the next few weeks, is slated to involve 35,000 adults from a number of countries. The vaccine is based on Sanofi's seasonal flu vaccine, combined with an immunity-boosting adjuvant from GSK. The companies had hoped to seek regulatory approval in the first half of 2021, but pushed back those plans after disappointing results in December. The favorable new findings will help GSK CEO Emma Walmsley stave off pressure from activist investor Elliott Management, which took a large stake in GSK in April, The Guardian reports.