Pharma says it may consider exposing vaccine trial participants to coronavirus

Henrietta Brewer
May 31, 2020

We are making a variety of efforts for a high quality and secure vaccine.

Pfizer is conducting clinical trials in the United States and Europe for the BNT162 vaccine programme to prevent COVID-19 in collaboration with German mRNA company BioNTech.

It claimed a vaccine could be ready by October-end this year. May finish by the tip of the 12 months.

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) chief Emma Walmsley, and Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels were also present.

According to the report, Soriot said that one of the challenges in coming up with a vaccine was declining transmission rates as it will be hard "to properly conduct clinical vaccine trials in a natural setting".

The adjuvant could be a critical ingredient in at least seven experimental vaccines against the new coronavirus now being developed around the world, including one by Sanofi, with whom GSK signed a collaboration deal in April.

He said that even if a vaccine is developed, there are complex issues that the World Health Organization must play a role in solving, such as deciding how to distribute it equitably and which populations should be vaccinated.

Each of these companies are working with their partners to develop a vaccine to prevent the disease.

A research scientist works inside a laboratory of India's Serum Institute, the world's largest maker of vaccines, which is working on vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pune, India, May 18, 2020.

Pharmaceutical company executives said Thursday that one or several COVID-19 vaccines could begin rolling out before 2021, but warned the challenges would be "daunting" as it was estimated that 15 billion doses would be needed to halt the pandemic.

Until today, there are more than 120 vaccines that have been proposed across the world.

"The short, less than four-month timeframe in which we've been able to move from pre-clinical studies to human testing is extraordinary and further demonstrates our commitment to dedicating our best-in-class resources, from the lab to manufacturing and beyond, in the battle against COVID-19", said Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer.

In anticipation of a successful clinical development programme, Pfizer and BioNTech are working to scale up production for global supply.

The coronavirus hasn't slowed even a bit. Companies and governments are pouring money into dozens of programmes as their best hope of allowing an escape from lockdowns and getting economies expanding again.

This shows that any immunity they developed was short-lived, he noted, adding: "We don't exactly understand the immune response for this coronavirus at present".

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