As drugmakers race to come up with vaccines to halt the deadly Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, their efforts are likely to come up against the same challenges that have hindered previous searches.
Chief among them: a coronavirus vaccine will most likely take years of development and testing before it can reach a large population, experts told Business Insider. That means that any vaccine is likely to play a limited role in this outbreak, even as urgency builds to address a virus that has killed atleast 900 people and sickened 40,500. Both the death toll and the number of infected patients now exceed the 2003 SARS outbreak.
“When people get up there and say we are going to have a vaccine in months, it is misleading,” Dr. Gregory Poland, the director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research group, said in an interview. “That is not going to happen in the US.”
Poland, who works on vaccine development, said it can cost roughly $1 billion for a vaccine to be approved in the US. It will likely take years for a coronavirus vaccine to progress through the multiple stages of human testing required to assess a vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, he said.
Academics have struggled to definitely pinned down the typical R&D cost for vaccines. Estimates have ranged from as low as $200 million to as high as $1.5 billion. Despite that variance, there’s consensus it is a costly and timely endeavor to undertake.
Pharmaceutical and biotech companies like Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Inovio Pharmaceuticals have risen to the Challenge, unveiling in recent weeks plans to find a vaccine.
See More at Business insider