Mexico to begin phase three trials of Sanofi, Walvax COVID-19 vaccines

Sanofi headquarters in Paris. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

MEXICO CITY, May 24 (Reuters) - Mexico Foreign Minister Marcel Ebrard said on Monday the country will soon begin phase three trials for COVID-19 vaccines by France's Sanofi and China's Walvax.

Mexico's health regulator Cofepris gave approval on Monday for trials of the Sanofi (SASY.PA) vaccine, which uses a recombinant protein-based technology, Ebrard added.

Phase three trials of the vaccine by China's Walvax Biotechnology (300142.SZ) are also about to begin in Mexico. Walvax, which uses similar technology to the shots by Moderna (MRNA.O) and Pfizer(PFE.N), will use about 6,000 volunteers for the late-stage trials, the government said previously. read more

"In Mexico, phase three of very diverse vaccines have already been carried out or are being carried out," Ebrard said in a virtual event. "Two new phase three (trials) are about to start... one is Walvax, which is a Chinese vaccine.. and today they notified us via Cofepris, (the other is) Sanofi, with a recombinant protein."

Mexico's own "Patria" COVID-19 vaccine will soon enter phase two trials, Ebrard said. The government has said the vaccine could be granted approval for emergency use this year.

Patria is being developed with technology from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and a HexaPro protein developed by the University of Texas at Austin. read more

Mexico has so far received about 33.5 million vaccine doses from foreign suppliers including Pfizer, AstraZeneca(AZN.L) and China's Sinovac (SVA.O), according to government data.

Ebrard said Mexico would have 40 million doses by June and that would increase to 65 million by July.

Reporting by Raul Cortes, writing by Cassandra Garrison

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