COVID-19 Biopharma Stretches To Meet Government Timeline for a Vaccine That Might Not Work

Bloomberg Businessweek April 13, 2020 pp8-10 Remarks “Racing Against Time and the Virus”. “It can take years to develop a vaccine, but Big Pharma is betting big it can beat Covid-19 quickly”. By Robert Langreth and Cynthia Koons

Although Pharma rarely makes money on vaccines, companies have responded to the governments challenge of having an effective COVID-19 vaccine in 12-18 months. Using various maneuvers in R&D, Clinical Trials and Manufacturing, they are hoping to compress 10-15 years of development tenfold. “For that to happen… an almost equally implausible set of circumstances has to occur, flawless scientific execution, breakneck trials and a military-style manufacturing mobilization…”. “All told, more than two dozen coronavirus vaccines are already in the early stages of testing”. See table below for more detail.

“As the battle against HIV shows, there’s no guarantee a vaccine is possible”. Unlike SARs and MERs which waxed and waned, there is a sense that a COVID-19 vaccine will be needed.