The companies Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline announced on Thursday that they have started enrolling volunteers in their Phase 3 clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of their coronavirus vaccine.
The trial will include more than 35,000 participants aged 18 and older from around the world, including the United States, Asia, Africa and Latin America, according to statements from the companies.
"We are encouraged to see first vaccinations starting to take place in such an important, pivotal Phase 3 study, as we believe that our unique technology platform will provide a clinically-relevant vaccine option," Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and global Head of Sanofi Pasteur, said in the statement.
"We have adapted our vaccine development strategy based on forward-looking considerations as the virus continues to evolve, as well as anticipating what may be needed in a post-pandemic setting," Triomphe said. "This trial is testament to the urgency and agility in our approach to help overcome the ongoing impact of this pandemic."
The companies announced that they plan to evaluate the efficacy of their vaccine against variants and test boosters. The release noted that, pending positive Phase 3 trial results, the vaccine could be authorized as early as in the fourth quarter of this year if all goes well.
"We believe further solutions for COVID-19 are very much needed to help reach people around the world, especially as the pandemic evolves and variants continue to emerge," Roger Connor, President of GSK Vaccines, said in the statement.