Development of effective COVID-19 vaccines will require unprecedented collaboration

May 11, 2020

A diversity of vaccine approaches, not a single SARS-CoV-2 vaccine or vaccine platform, must be pursued to meet the global need to protect from the continued threat of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, write Lawrence Corey, John R. Mascola, Anthony S. Fauci, and Francis S. Collins in this Policy Forum. As part of this approach, industry, government and academia must collaborate in unprecedented ways, each adding their individual strengths, Corey and colleagues say. At present, even though a number of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are bringing forward vaccine approaches for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, these "encouraging efforts are tempered" by questions that remain about what constitutes a protective immune response. Only a diversity of vaccine approaches, managed by collaborative approaches from different sectors, can help explore the many questions that remain, say Corey and colleagues. Such a collaborative program has recently emerged with the founding of the ACTIV (Accelerating COVID19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines) public-private partnership, wherein NIH has partnered with its sister agencies, other U.S. government departments, representatives from academia, philanthropic organizations, and more than 15 biopharmaceutical companies, to bring together the strengths of all sectors. The authors involved with the ACTIV public-private partnership call for harmonizing each step of the coordinated vaccine development process, from creating a common oversight body and shared set of criteria to evaluate the vaccine studies underway, to transparency and data sharing, to marshalling the full resources of private, public and philanthropic sectors to scale up eventual manufacturing capacity and distribution chains for COVID-19 vaccines.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

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