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Will pharma’s record-breaking race for a coronavirus vax pay off?

February 04, 2020 / MEAGAN PARRISH

If a pharma company succeeded in developing a vaccine for the coronavirus in the timeframe many have promised, it would be a historic milestone for the industry. Since cases of the novel coronavirus in China were first reported over a month ago, the pharma world has been mobilizing at a breakneck speed to develop a vaccine or come up with an effective treatment. A range of companies have jumped into the race including Novavax, Moderna and Inovio Pharmaceuticals. Now that Johnson & Johnson has announced its efforts to develop a vaccine, Big Pharma is in the hunt as well. Although J&J has estimated that it could take up to a year before a vaccine is ready for human trials, Moderna and Inovio are promising a much shorter timeline of just three months before their products are ready for testing. Just how ambitious is that goal?