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When Will a COVID-19 Vaccine Be Ready?

When Will a COVID-19 Vaccine Be Ready?
Reported by
Kari Fischer

Posted June 24, 2020

Presented By

The New York Academy of Sciences

Currently, there’s an unprecedented race to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, as it may be the best way to stop the spread of this disease. To meet high standards for safety and efficacy, researchers must test all vaccines in thousands of people, and a COVID-19 vaccine is no different. As of June 2020, there are more than 140 vaccines in development and 22 of them have made it to clinical trials. But vaccine development and approval is a complex process. The mumps vaccine—the fastest ever approved—took four years from development to licensing. And once a vaccine is approved, the ability to manufacture and distribute it at scale presents a unique challenge. This eBriefing will explore the latest advances in the race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, and how governments, research organizations, non-profits, and pharmaceutical companies are all working together to distribute it globally in the next 1-2 years.

In this eBriefing, You’ll Learn:

  • Which vaccines are currently being tested in humans against COVID-19 and their known side effects
  • The timeline for vaccine development
  • Challenges faced by vaccine developers
  • What deployment will look like for the global population
COVID-19: When Will a Vaccine Be Ready?


COVID-19: When Will a Vaccine Be Ready?

Kathrin Jansen/Tal Zaks (Pfizer/Moderna)

Kathrin Jansen, PhD

Kathrin U. Jansen, PhD, is Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer Inc, and a member of Pfizer’s Worldwide Research and Development leadership team. Dr. Jansen oversees a fully integrated, global vaccines research and development organization, with responsibilities ranging from discovery to registration and post-marketing commitments of first-in-class or best-in-class vaccines to prevent or treat diseases of significant unmet medical need. Dr. Jansen has a distinguished career in vaccine development, including leading the discovery and development of Gardasil®, the world’s first cervical cancer vaccine; Prev(e)nar13® to prevent pneumococcal diseases and the development and licensure of Trumenba®, the first vaccine licensed in the United States to prevent invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B. She received her doctoral degree in microbiology, biochemistry & genetics from Phillips Universitaet, Marburg, Germany. Following completion of her formal training, she continued her postdoctoral training at Cornell University working on the structure and function of the acetylcholine receptor. She then joined the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology in Geneva, Switzerland, where she focused on basic studies of a receptor believed to be a drug target to treat allergies. Dr. Jansen was appointed an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania – School of Medicine in 2010. Before the Wyeth acquisition by Pfizer in 2009, Dr. Jansen served as Senior Vice President at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and on Wyeth’s Research and Development Executive Committee since 2006 and was responsible for vaccine discovery, early development and clinical testing operations. Dr. Jansen also briefly worked at Vaxgen as Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President for Research and Development with responsibility for the company’s late stage development programs. Prior to joining Vaxgen, Dr. Jansen spent 12 years at Merck Research Laboratories where she directed or supported a number of vaccine efforts.

Tal Zaks, MD, PhD

As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tal Zaks oversees clinical development and regulatory affairs across Moderna. Prior to joining Moderna, Dr. Zaks was senior vice president and head of Global Oncology at Sanofi, where he was responsible for all a spects of oncology drug discovery, development and commercialization. Dr. Zaks began his industry career at GlaxoSmithKline in the genetics research group, where he built the oncology translational medicine team and led translational research on lapatinib as well as the in-licensing and clinical development of foretinib. In addition to his industry work, Dr. Zaks is associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and has served as a volunteer physician at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center, treating patients with genitourinary cancers. He received his MD and PhD from the Ben Gurion University in Israel and conducted post-doctoral research at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Dr. Zaks completed his clinical training in internal medicine at Temple University Hospital followed by a fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the Board of Directors of Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc.