2020-10-12 Covid-19 Vaccine Race: Weekly Round-up

China emerging as key player in race to find Covid-19 vaccine candidate, with half of candidates in Phase III studies produced by the Asian superpower.

The numbers

As of October the 11th, 37,219,209 people had been infected by the virus worldwide and a total of 1,​073,​079 Covid-19 related deaths had been reported since late January. The outbreak which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan had spread to more than 180 countries and territories, affecting every continent with the exception of Antarctica.

Impact and response

In response to the rapid spread, countries imposed varying degrees of national lockdowns and imposed restrictions on international travel as they battled to flatten their respective curves to contain the loss of lives and minimize the economic calamity. The economic fallout resulting from the pandemic has culminated in mass layouts, a growing list of bankruptcy fillings as well as battered financial markets. Since January, the pandemic’s epicenter has shifted from China, then Europe, and now seems to be headed towards emerging markets such as Brazil and India.

Vaccine race

At present, more than 170 candidates are currently being tracked by the WHO as researchers across the globe race to develop a vaccine quicker than usual. While more than 80 percent of the candidates are still in the pre-clinical stage, 10 of these have entered Phase III studies, bringing them closer to approval before being made available for large-scale use. Notably, half of the candidates currently conducting Phase III trials are by Chinese companies, highlighting the superpower’s push to lead the race as U.S. companies continue to grapple with strict safety protocols.

The Chinese candidates are being developed by units of Sinopharm, Fosun Pharma, Sinovac Biotech and CanSino Biologics. Other players leading the race include the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca, Novavax, Moderna, J&J and the Gamaleya Research Institute.Use this space to connect with your readers and potential customers in a way that’s current and interesting. Think of it as an ongoing conversation where you can share updates about business, trends, news, and more.