Healthcare

Pandemics: Opportunity Or Threat To The Vaccine Industry

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<p style="text-align: justify;">It is a well-known fact that vaccines serve as an effective line of defense against existing and emerging pathogens and diseases that could otherwise be life-threatening.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The universal immunization program involving the use of vaccines against the existing bacterial and viral diseases is an excellent example of the success story of vaccine effectiveness and a driver for the Vaccine industry.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Dilemma of the Vaccine Industry</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">However, in case of an epidemic or pandemic infection/disease, it becomes a little complicated for the Vaccine industry to decide whether to invest in the development and manufacture of the vaccine.</span><span style="font-size: 12pt;">This is primarily because relatively little is known about its disease pathogenesis, and the timelines and regulatory pathways for vaccine development are very tight and stringent. </span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">A great example is the emergence of the recent COVID-19 global pandemic. It appeared as a great challenging opportunity for the established Vaccine manufacturers and the new upcoming start-up companies.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">However, of the more than 300 vaccine candidates currently under development at various stages against COVID-19 worldwide, only a handful could obtain emergency use authorization for administration to the public to date (Source: Covid-19 vaccine landscape, WHO).&nbsp;</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">With the ever-evolving SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen for COVID-19, it remains to be seen how many of those vaccine candidates will see the light of the day.</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Considering the enormous efforts required for vaccine manufacturing, including finances, as against the low success rates, it would appear that the pandemics are more of a threat than an opportunity for the Vaccine industry as a whole.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Only time will tell.</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/vibhu-kanchan/">Vibhu Kanchan</a></em></span></p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Vibhu Kanchan</span></h3><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. How was the COVID-19 vaccine developed so quickly?&nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Each vaccine platform, like Inactivated whole cell vaccine (Covaxin) and; Adenovirus vector based (Covishield), took its respective time for preclinical proof of concept and animal immunogenicity. However, the emergency use authorization was granted based on promising early clinical phase data pending additional safety and effectiveness information (to enable full licensure).</span></p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. What is the Covax initiative to develop the COVID-19 vaccine?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. The ACT Accelerator is a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. Is the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) a new process introduced for the COVID-19 vaccine?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Not exactly. An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is a mechanism to facilitate the availability and use of medical counter measures, including vaccines, during public health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. What are some of the significant instances for the vaccine industry during the pandemic?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">I would say the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant instance and challenge for the vaccine industry. Another significant instance would be the revival of mRNA-based vaccines and quickened EUA for inactivated, mRNA and adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccines.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Vibhu Kanchan