While companies usually compete to create novel therapeutics and vaccines for a 'first-to-market' advantage, tackling COVID-19 is likely to require the contributions of multiple companies. There’s going to be more than one winner in the vaccine field as billions of vaccine doses will be required globally.
The Chinese see themselves facing opposition in the form of a US effort, triggered by President Trump’s call to develop a vaccine at ‘warp speed.' To meet the target of a vaccine by October — in part motivated by the US elections in November — the US’s Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA) said they would provide $1.2 billion support to Oxford University's AstraZeneca project in order to deliver 300 doses of their potential vaccine by the end of September.
As of now, there are 224 candidate vaccines in development globally, according to the data collected by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). While North America has the largest number of projects — 49 per cent — China is the furthest along the track with five vaccines in phase II human trials, more than any other country.