Mapping the Race to the Final Phase: New vs Old Vaccine Technology

Authors

  • Jowil Alsamara University of Canberra
  • Dr Mary Bushell

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.55136/apsj127

Keywords:

vaccines, Covid-19, pharmacy, peer-reviewed , pharmacy research , student-led journal, undergraduate research

Abstract

Background: COVID-19 vaccines are being released to market at a speed unseen before. Both novel and traditional vaccine technologies are being used for the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Aims: To identify the time COVID-19 vaccines are spending in clinical trial phases and compare whether vaccines using novel technologies are progressing faster than those using traditional technologies. The reported efficacy for vaccines in preventing infection by the COVID-19 virus will also be compared.

Method: A search using PubMed (MEDLINE), EMBASE, Google Scholar and the ClinicalTrials.gov Registry was conducted in August, 2021 to extract relevant data from COVID-19 vaccine human clinical trials. In total, 162 clinical trials were found, and data for 21 vaccines were included.

Results: Out of the 21 vaccines identified, 11 had combined phase I/II clinical trials, and four had combined phase II/ III clinical trials. Only one vaccine had combined phase I/ II as well as phase II/III. Seven vaccines were in phase IV clinical trials, and therefore approved for public use. On average, vaccines spent 245-305 days in the first three phases of clinical trials. Of the vaccines approved for public use as of October 2021, 71% used novel vaccine technology with 42% being viral vector technology and 29% being mRNA-based technology. Vaccines using novel technologies demonstrated higher efficacy when compared to those using traditional technologies. The highest efficacy demonstrated by a vaccine using novel technology was 95% (ComirnatyTM mRNA vaccine), while the highest efficacy demonstrated by a vaccine using traditional technology was 89% (NovavaxTM protein subunit vaccine).

Conclusion: COVID-19 vaccines that used novel or traditional vaccine technologies were found to spend comparable time in the various clinical trial phases. However, a greater proportion of COVID-19 vaccines released to the market, have utilised novel vaccine technologies that were not used in humans prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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01.07.2022

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