Controversy as pharma execs predict profits from COVID-19 vaccines

Thursday, 23 Jul, 2020

Vaccines typically take years to develop and more than a dozen targeted at COVID-19 are in the early stages of testing globally.

So desperately awaited has been this piece of good news that one could nearly hear the whole world collectively heave a sigh of relief at the cautious promise of Oxford University's coronavirus vaccine being round the corner.

Longer terms are handled by the Johnson & Johnson companies, which expect to have a vaccine in early 2021 and 100 million doses by March, according to Macaya Douoguih, head of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, who also announced that they will start with phase 3 in September.

The boss of a drugs company that has agreed to deliver up to 100 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine to the United Kingdom has told Sky News there is a more than 50% chance of it reaching patients.

The vaccine trials' next phase will reportedly have 10,000 participants in the UK.

Soriot said the vaccine had performed well in stage 1 and 2 trials suggesting it offered good tolerability without serious side effects.

One of the vaccines is being developed at Oxford University in the United Kingdom and the other at a centre in Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the first Covid-19 epidemic in January.

Pfizer, a company that didn't receive government funding, has also said that it intends on profiting from the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing.

Along with AstraZeneca, Moderna has received funding from the USA government to help develop its vaccine, although Pfizer has not. If this vaccine fails, we will be down (by) United States dollars 200 million, ' he said, adding the expenses exclude the opportunity cost of using the same facility for some other objective.

"The end of the year target for getting vaccine rollout, it's a possibility, but there's absolutely no certainty about that", she told BBC Radio.

Researchers at the two universities will run at least five different vaccine studies over the next six months as part of the COVID-19 Prevention Network, a collaboration formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "We are excited that the St. Louis community will have this opportunity to participate in historic clinical trials aimed at helping to identify the most effective vaccines for preventing COVID-19".