French institution calls off development of COVID-19 vaccine candidate using measles vector

Institut Pasteur, one of France’s main scientific research centers, announced on Monday that it has called off a development project of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which used the measles vector after a clinical trial showed that it was not good enough for immune responses.

“Following interim results from Phase I clinical trial, Institut Pasteur stops the development of one of its vaccine candidates, the one based on the virus of the vaccine against measles,” the institution said in a press statement.

Phase I testing in humans for this COVID-19 vaccine candidate using the measles vector started in August 2020 in France and Belgium.

In humans, this vaccine candidate “was well tolerated, but the induced immune responses were found to be lower than those observed in people recovered from a natural infection as well as those observed with authorized vaccines against SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19,” it said.

The institution said it will continue to develop another two candidate vaccines based on different methodologies. The first is being developed with the biotechnology company TheraVectys and the second is a DNA vaccine candidate.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in France and some other countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 237 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 64 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Jan. 22.