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Sanofi CEO Talks Coronavirus Vaccine Development, Potential Treatment

Sanofi CEO Talks Coronavirus Vaccine Development, Potential Treatment

France-based global drugmaker Sanofi SA (NYSE: SNY) is working on developing a coronavirus vaccine under the assumption the pandemic will resume "in some form" into 2021, CEO Paul Hudson said Wednesday in a Fox Business interview.

Coronavirus Vaccine By Mid-2021?

Sanofi's potential vaccine against the coronavirus is unlikely to be made available until mid-2021, Hudson said.

This timeline represents "unprecedented speed," as it typically takes 10 years to develop a vaccine from start to finish, the CEO said. 

The problem with creating a coronavirus vaccine is that it will be administered to already healthy people, so an 18-month timeline ensures the company is "doing it the right way," he said. 

"We are confident we will get there," Hudson said. "I think people need to know we will get there and we are leaving nothing on the table."

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Hydroxychloroquine Treatment For Coronavirus? 

During the early stages of the coronavirus spread, doctors across the world were "very desperate" to come up with potential solutions, Hudson said. Doctors started to report anecdotal evidence of success in patients who were given hydroxychloroquine, sold by Sanofi under the brand name Plaquenil. 

Sanofi partnered with the World Health Organization and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: REGN) to make sure clinical data is built at a fast pace across the U.S. and Europe to show "that these treatments really are the right proven intervention," the CEO said. 

Hydroxychloroquine is being given away by Sanofi for free, and if the science backs its ability to treat the disease, Sanofi pledges that "everyone gets access" to the medication, Hudson said. 

Hydroxychloroquine and Sanofi's azithromycin have been approved for the treatment of other conditions and are already understood by the medical community, he said.

The company expects to have evidence in "a week or two" to show it can be beneficial, the CEO said, adding that at that point, doctors and health care professionals can make a "really credible choice" in how they treat patients.

For the time being, the CEO said it would be "wrong to jump the gun" and offer any sort of guidance or expectations on ongoing trials. There are "tight rules" over what data can be shared and when, he said. 

Hudson said he promises to share data "as far and wide as possible" when it's possible to do so. 

Sanofi shares were trading 1.3% higher at $45.18 at the time of publication Wednesday. 

Related Links:

Akers Says It's Halfway Through Plan To Develop COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate

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