Mexico to Begin Phase 3 Trials of Sanofi, Walvax COVID-19 Vaccines

By Reuters Staff

May 25, 2021

MEXICO CITY (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 vaccine, which uses a recombinant protein-based technology, Ebrard added.

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

"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 based on a recombinant Newcastle virus that can be grown in existing egg-based flu production facilities, and 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.

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

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