Antibodies Can Be the Bridge to a Vaccine
By Luciana Borio and Scott Gottlieb (original source Wall Street Journal)
“America’s coronavirus epidemic has taken a turn for the worse, with many more states showing sharp increases in daily cases compared with two weeks ago. How long will it take for researchers to catch up and develop more effective therapies against Covid-19?
The federal government’s Operation Warp Speed is working with drugmakers to accelerate the development and manufacturing of vaccines. Five candidates are in clinical trials, including one from Pfizer (on whose board one of us, Dr. Gottlieb, sits). More vaccines are expected to enter such trials soon. A safe and effective vaccine is the best hope for ending the pandemic and fully restoring the economy. Everyone is hoping for success—and quickly.
But the path to a vaccine can be long and complex. Enrolling patients in clinical trials, ramping up factories, and producing sufficient supply is an intricate process that can take many months. Distributing vaccines also takes time, and so does encouraging Americans to take them. With so many uncertainties, vaccines aren’t likely to be available widely until next year. That means we need to pursue other potential antidotes.”
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