A group of American and European drug manufacturers issued a collective statement on Tuesday in which they pledged to uphold long-established scientific standards as they try to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen commonly referred to as the “novel coronavirus.”
Normally, the process of developing a vaccine takes years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused wide-ranging and severe consequences across the globe. Therefore drug companies — and governments — are keen to see a vaccine developed and deployed as quickly as possible. To that end, manufacturers such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca are working furiously to get an immunization against the virus up and running as quickly as possible.
However, as CNBC reported, nine leading pharmaceutical companies publicly stated their development of a coronavirus vaccine won’t be rushed and the process will still be carried out according to scientific rigor.
In a joint memo, which can be read in its entirety here via Pfizer, the CEOs of AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer, and Sanofi all stated vaccine development will be driven by science and ethics.
“We, the undersigned biopharmaceutical companies, want to make clear our on-going commitment to developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles,” the statement read in part.
Further, the message noted that regulatory agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S., also apply standards based on science before any medicine is approved.
“The agency requires that scientific evidence for regulatory approval must come from large, high quality clinical trials that are randomized and observer-blinded, with an expectation of appropriately designed studies with significant numbers of participants across diverse populations,” the statement said.
The announcement comes a day after health experts warned that political pressure may result in a coronavirus vaccine being released before all of the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed scientifically. As reported by The Inquisitr, some experts fear releasing a vaccine before there is sufficient proof that it is safe and effective could undermine confidence in the immunization, leading to fewer people agreeing to get it and limiting its efficacy.
However, President Donald Trump has been bullish on getting a vaccine produced and distributed as quickly as possible. Indeed, as the New York Post reported on Monday, the president suggested one could be available by October. However, Surgeon General Jerome Adams and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci have both publicly stated the only way a vaccine will be approved is after an independent, non-political review board has analyzed the data and concluded it’s safe and effective.