THIS MATERIAL IS A MARKETING COMMUNICATION.
Chinese Vaccine Industry Research Series 2Vaccine Front-runners Head to the Finish Line
In our previous series 'Vaccines: Past, Present, and Future,' we discussed different types of vaccines. In this edition, we discuss different types of vaccines for COVID-19, the companies developing them, and the current status of development timelines.
Broadly, there are two categories of COVID-19 vaccine in development –
- Traditional vaccines – e.g., recombinant protein, inactivated/live attenuated virus, and adenovirus vector vaccines that consist of either a viral protein or virus-like particle. They form the basis of established vaccines industry and all approved vaccines (made by Sanofi, GSK, Merck, Pfizer, and JNJ).
- Novel vaccines – e.g., mRNA, DNA vaccines such as Moderna's (the first to enter clinical trials), Sanofi/TranslateBio's or Pfizer/BioNtech's that only comprises of the viral genetic material. Once introduced into the body, the body's cells manufacture virus antigens prompting an immune response.
Traditional Vaccines – Easier and Faster to Get Approval
The advantages of traditional vaccines include the ease of obtaining regulatory approval on an accelerated timeline given higher regulatory comfort with established technologies and established manufacturing. However, this may be more difficult/slower to scale up to the billions of doses potentially needed. Per Sanofi management, it has developed a vaccine based on the previous severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) vaccine by its traditional recombinant DNA (encoding COVID-19 spike protein) technology. More importantly, it would be able to obtain approval 12-18 months from now with a manufacturing capacity of 100-600mm doses. It will use existing cell-based manufacturing that it uses for its annual Flublok flu vaccine. We believe it may be conservative following its subsequent tie-up to use GSK's adjuvant. Similarly, JNJ announced that it anticipates the first batch of its adenovirus vector vaccine could be available for emergency use by early 2021, a substantial acceleration versus typical vaccine timelines. Capacity expansion is planned to be able to supply 1 billion doses.
Novel vaccines – Unproven, faster development speed, manufacturing scale-up easier than tradition vaccines
The development speed with viral genome sequencing to the production of a candidate vaccine for testing has been achieved in a matter of weeks, by Moderna as well as Pfizer/ BioNtech. This has allowed mRNA vaccine development companies to enter clinical trials earlier (vs. 2H20 expected for traditional vaccines). Potential for fast simpler/cheaper manufacturing scale up with large-scale nucleic acid manufacturing appears to be easier than protein manufacturing required for conventional vaccines. However, novel RNA/DNA vaccines are also unproven, higher-risk, and likely more tricky and potentially slower to attain approval.
Globally about 160 vaccine programs for COVID, 23 in clinics
According to WHO, about 160 active vaccine development programs are for COVID, 23, and about 140 are in clinical and pre-clinical stages.
Below we discuss vaccine updates for specific leading companies.
- Moderna – Leader of mRNA Vaccine
Moderna's Phase I COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273 was published in the NEJM (patient size = 45). It demonstrated positive efficacy and safety data. The data on neutralizing antibody levels are 2-4x greater than convalescent sera, which is at least as good as recently reported and well-regarded positive data from PFE/BNTX that was 2-3x fold greater. Other details are important and positive as well, including activation of T-cell responses, which are important in fighting off infection and increasing durability. Plans to commence phase III trials (with 30k participants) is expected to take place soon. Moderna has received US$483mn from the US government as funding to accelerate the development of the vaccine.
- Cansino – Phase 1 data encouraging, phase 3 trial to begin soon
Cansino's vaccine candidate Ad5-nCoV - China PhI results show initial signs of immunogenicity with manageable safety profiles. In terms of immunogenicity, Ad5-nCoV induced humoral and T-cell responses were rapid in most subjects. 50-75% of subjects had four-fold increases in neutralizing antibodies (NAb). The company plans to expand capacity to 100-200mn doses (including overseas partners).
Canada update – Health Canada has reviewed Cansino's pre-clinical and clinical data in China and has approved to commence clinical trial in Canada.
mRNA partnership – Cansino has also entered into a joint-venture (JV) with Precision NanoSystems (PNI) to co-develop its mRNA lipid nano-particle (mRNA-LNP) vaccine against COVID-19. The JV will leverage PNI's proprietary RNA vaccine platform, comprising of lipid nano-particle delivery system and the manufacturing technology, to advance its COVID-19 mRNA-LNP vaccine candidate.
- Serum Institute of India
India produces 60% of the world's vaccines and accounts for 60%-80% of the United Nations' annual vaccine procurement. 107 of total 153 WHO pre-qualified vaccines are from India. Among Indian firms, Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech, Panacea Biotech, Cadila Healthcare, and Indian Immunological are leading vaccine players.
Serum Institute is the world's largest vaccine maker by number of doses (1.5bn annually) produced and sold in more than 170 countries. Serum has collaborated with the University of Oxford (and now licensed to AstraZeneca) for a vaccine for COVID-19. The vaccine is currently in phase II/ III clinical trial. Serum will manufacture and supply the vaccine. As per its agreement with AstraZeneca, Serum is to provide 1 billion doses to low-and-middle-income countries, with 400 million of those shots set to be delivered by the end of 2020.
Staying Ahead with Mirae Asset’s Latest Insights
Disclaimer & Information for Investors
No distribution, solicitation or advice: This document is provided for information and illustrative purposes and is intended for your use only. It is not a solicitation, offer or recommendation to buy or sell any security or other financial instrument. The information contained in this document has been provided as a general market commentary only and does not constitute any form of regulated financial advice, legal, tax or other regulated service.
The views and information discussed or referred in this document are as of the date of publication. Certain of the statements contained in this document are statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements. Views, opinions and estimates may change without notice and are based on a number of assumptions which may or may not eventuate or prove to be accurate. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those in such statements. In addition, the opinions expressed may differ from those of other Mirae Asset Global Investments’ investment professionals.
Investment involves risk: Past performance is not indicative of future performance. It cannot be guaranteed that the performance of the Fund will generate a return and there may be circumstances where no return is generated or the amount invested is lost. It may not be suitable for persons unfamiliar with the underlying securities or who are unwilling or unable to bear the risk of loss and ownership of such investment. Before making any investment decision, investors should read the Prospectus for details and the risk factors. Investors should ensure they fully understand the risks associated with the Fund and should also consider their own investment objective and risk tolerance level. Investors are advised to seek independent professional advice before making any investment.
Sources: Information and opinions presented in this document have been obtained or derived from sources which in the opinion of Mirae Asset Global Investments (“MAGI”) are reliable, but we make no representation as to their accuracy or completeness. We accept no liability for a loss arising from the use of this document.
Products, services and information may not be available in your jurisdiction and may be offered by affiliates, subsidiaries and/or distributors of MAGI as stipulated by local laws and regulations. Please consult with your professional adviser for further information on the availability of products and services within your jurisdiction. This document is issued by Mirae Asset Global Investments (HK) Limited and has not been reviewed by the Securities and Futures Commission.
Information for EU investors pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/1156: This document is a marketing communication and is intended for Professional Investors only. A Prospectus is available for the Mirae Asset Global Discovery Fund (the “Company”) a société d'investissement à capital variable (SICAV) domiciled in Luxembourg structured as an umbrella with a number of sub-funds. Key Investor Information Documents (“KIIDs”) are available for each share class of each of the sub-funds of the Company.
The Company’s Prospectus and the KIIDs can be obtained from www.am.miraeasset.eu/fund-literature/ . The Prospectus is available in English, French, German, and Danish, while the KIIDs are available in one of the official languages of each of the EU Member States into which each sub-fund has been notified for marketing under the Directive 2009/65/EC (the “UCITS Directive”). Please refer to the Prospectus and the KIID before making any final investment decisions.
A summary of investor rights is available in English from www.am.miraeasset.eu/investor-rights-summary/.
The sub-funds of the Company are currently notified for marketing into a number of EU Member States under the UCITS Directive. FundRock Management Company can terminate such notifications for any share class and/or sub-fund of the Company at any time using the process contained in Article 93a of the UCITS Directive.
Hong Kong: This document is intended for Hong Kong investors. Before making any investment decision to invest in the Fund, Investors should read the Fund’s Prospectus and the information for Hong Kong investors (of applicable) of the Fund for details and the risk factors. The individual and Mirae Asset Global Investments (Hong Kong) Limited may hold the individual securities mentioned. This document is issued by Mirae Asset Global Investments (HK) Limited and has not been reviewed by the Securities and Futures Commission.
Copyright 2023. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of Mirae Asset Global Investments (Hong Kong) Limited.