Sanofi says could help produce competitors' COVID-19 shots

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A Sanofi logo is seen during the company's annual results news conference in Paris, France, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

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PARIS, Jan 7 (Reuters) - France's Sanofi (SASY.PA) is considering how it can help produce COVID-19 vaccines devised by other drugmakers, a spokesman said on Thursday.

He did not say which exact manufacturing steps could be performed nor if Sanofi was already holding talks with competitors. Vaccine production requires multiple stages, from research to filling and packing.

Last month, Sanofi and Britain's GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) said a COVID-19 vaccine they are jointly developing had showed an insufficient immune response in older people, delaying its launch to late next year, in a setback for both companies. read more

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"Given the recent changes... we have some temporary flexibility with our manufacturing capacities," the spokesman said.

"We are exploring all options and currently assessing the technical feasibility of performing some manufacturing steps to support other COVID-19 vaccines manufacturers," he said.

The spokesman said due to regulations and specific manufacturing processes, Sanofi could not directly produce the drug component of another vaccine.

Sanofi is also working on another COVID-19 vaccine candidate with the United States' Translate Bio (TBIO.O) which uses mRNA technology. Phase I trials are expected to start this quarter.

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Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Dominique Vidalon

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