Multinational pharmaceutical companies pledged on Thursday to supply a vaccine against Covid-19 “anywhere in the world”, in an estimated time of less than a year and a half.

Multinational pharmaceutical companies pledged on Thursday to supply a vaccine against Covid-19 “anywhere in the world”, in an estimated time of less than a year and a half.

(.) – Dozens of clinical trials are underway to develop cheaper and more effective screening kits, and especially a treatment or a vaccine capable of fighting the coronavirus, which has already infected more than 230,000 people and caused more than 10,000 deaths worldwide. “We will make sure that the vaccine, even if it is produced elsewhere in the world, is available to everyone who needs it around the world,” said Paul Stoffels, vice president of the executive committee of Johnson & Johnson. .

“It’s a promise that the industry [pharmaceutique] done together ”, he added during a videoconference organized by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (IFPMA). Administrative formalities, such as marketing authorizations, can be simplified and accelerated in this race against the clock, resources abound and public-private partnerships help dilute the financial risk linked to the colossal investments required research and production, he said.

The country where the coronavirus has appeared is starting to test an “effective” vaccine on human beings, the Defense Ministry said in Beijing on Wednesday. It is developed under the direction of epidemiologist Chen Wei.

“We are living in exceptional moments and the industry is responding to them,” said David Ricks, CEO of Eli Lilly and Company and President of IFPMA. “We have three areas of work: ensuring distribution (…), redirecting existing technology (…) and creating new treatments, new vaccines, new screening tests that will help eradicate Covid-19” , he added.

But producers and regulatory authorities cannot compromise on the safety of a vaccine candidate, and therefore accelerate the schedule of clinical trials and study of results, warned officials of large groups. “It will take 12 to 18 months to get a vaccine licensed on the market,” said David Loew, executive vice president of Sanofi and manager of Sanofi Pasteur.

The industry recognizes that this deadline is an “aggressive” estimate, but realistic if the statutory deadlines are reduced. Once the formula has been validated by regulatory agencies, it will however be necessary to produce in sufficient quantity and guarantee supply all over the planet. “We’re talking about billions of people, it’s a huge challenge,” said David Loew.

“Among the essential sectors”

In order to remove the obstacles to production and transport, the bosses of the big labs called on the States to “classify the pharmaceutical industry among the essential sectors” of the activity of their countries, by allowing their employees to go in the factories. “There have been some problems locally,” said David Ricks.

Knowing that no effective vaccine against a member of the coronavirus family has yet been designed, “most clinical trial programs” launched against covid-19 are doomed to fail, warned Rajeev Venkayya, responsible for vaccine development within the Takeda group. The advantage, on the other hand, of engaging in all-out projects is that “some will succeed,” he also said.

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