Evolution of the COVID-19 vaccine development landscape

The COVID-19 vaccine R&D landscape has developed at unprecedented scale and speed since our initial analysis in April identified 115 candidates in the pipeline (Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 19, 305–306; 2020). In this updated overview, we focus on candidates in clinical trials and provide some initial perspectives on their clinical development.

Evolution of the R&D landscape

As of 2 September 2020, the global COVID-19 vaccine R&D landscape includes 321 vaccine candidates, an increase of more than 2.5 fold compared with our previous report. Of these, 32 vaccine candidates are in clinical trials (Supplementary Table 1), with plans to enrol more than 280,000 participants from at least 470 sites in 34 different countries. The most advanced clinical candidates are now in phase III trials, and data to support licensure are anticipated to be available later this year. For the leading candidates, large-scale manufacturing of vaccine has already been initiated to enable rapid distribution if approval is obtained.

Technology platforms and targets. The current COVID-19 vaccine pipeline comprises a broad range of technology platforms, including both traditional and novel approaches (Fig. 1). Early data are emerging for the most advanced clinical candidates, and although encouraging antibody and T cell responses have been reported for vaccines based on several of the different platforms being used, it is too early to assess their relative potential. Eleven clinical-stage vaccine candidates employ adjuvants. Continue reading here

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