Technology VIDEO. Covid-19: late in the vaccine race, will the Institut Pasteur be the turtle of the fable?

VIDEO. Covid-19: late in the vaccine race, will the Institut Pasteur be the turtle of the fable?

Around the world, nearly 200 vaccine projects against Covid-19 are underway. In this race, the closest to the finish line are two American laboratories, Moderna and Pfizer. The French are at the back of the pack, with Sanofi and the Institut Pasteur.

In the house which bears the name of the “hero of vaccination”, Frédéric Tangy, the head of the vaccine innovation laboratory, is nevertheless smiling. Its candidate has won over one of the largest American vaccine manufacturers: the Merck laboratory, which will ensure its development.

The vaccine from the measles vaccine will not see the light of day before the end of 2021

This vaccine candidate has the advantage of being “based on the best human vaccine available, the measles vaccine”. A very safe vaccine, explains Frédéric Tangy. “And above all, a live vaccine. We know that with very few injections, we are protected for life.. ”

The vaccine will only see the light of day in a year at best – so well after the first ones, promised by the end of the year. “You know La Fontaine’s fable, puts Frédéric Tangy into perspective. On can be late and still come first. ” This delay, the researcher explains it by the precautions taken in his laboratory. No way, as some competitors do, to start clinical trials at the same time as animal tests – “which is still a bit ethically average “.

Clinical trials started in August 2020

This summer, a Lyon laboratory worked hard to produce 200 liters of experimental product for testing from a test tube. André Dupont, the chief pharmacist, worked day and night on 6,000 pages of documentation to ensure the safety of this serum. Once the quality controls have been duly carried out (this is 70% of the manufacturing time of a vaccine), André Dupont signed on August 19: the Pasteur vaccine is ready for testing.

Extract from “Vaccine: the secret war”, a document to be seen in “Further investigation” on November 5, 2020.

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