Keyword: institut Pasteur

France’s Pasteur Institute abandons its main Covid-19 vaccine project

News is  further blow for hopes of a French-led vaccine following recent news that leading national pharmaceutical company Sanofi is also struggling to bring its vaccine candidate to market.

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The strange saga of how France helped build Wuhan's top-security virus lab

By and Jacques Massey
French prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve during the inauguration of the laboratory at Wuhan, February 23rd 2017. © AFP/Johannes Eisele French prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve during the inauguration of the laboratory at Wuhan, February 23rd 2017. © AFP/Johannes Eisele

The maximum-level biosafety laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the first of its kind to be built in China, and has been the centre of huge speculation since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic which originated in that city. The laboratory, which is equipped to handle Class 4 pathogens (P4) including dangerous viruses such as Ebola, was built with the help of French experts and under the guidance of French billionaire businessman Alain Mérieux, despite strong objections by health and defence officials in Paris. Since the laboratory's inauguration by prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve in 2017, however, France has had no supervisory role in the running of the facility and planned cooperation between French researchers and the laboratory has come to a grinding halt. Karl Laske and Jacques Massey report.

Report slams Pasteur Institute for loss of SARS virus tubes - and finds it also lost a freezer storing them

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Earlier this year it was revealed that the Pasteur Institute had lost more than 2,300 vials containing the potentially deadly SARS virus that were stocked on its premises in Paris. Mediapart has gained access to a confidential report of the investigation launched into the blunder, and from which it emerges that not only the vials went missing, but also the boxes and a freezer in which they were stored. The investigation contradicts the institute’s claim that the missing virus samples were no longer dangerous, and says that access to where they were kept was alarmingly insecure. Michel de Pracontal details the findings.