Nearly 200 possible COVID-19 vaccines in development. Thirty-nine in human clinical trials. Nine in Phase III trials. The extent to which the pharmaceutical industry has mobilized to attack the pandemic is truly unprecedented. But just as unprecedented is the sector’s wholehearted embrace of collaboration.
We’ve seen traditional pharma giant AstraZeneca
partner with a venerable academic institution (University of Oxford) to swiftly bring a vaccine candidate from lab to human trial. We’ve seen rivals snuggle up in pairs (Sanofi and GSK
) and international collaborations galore: Germany’s BioNTech
, for instance, is testing one novel messenger RNA vaccine with giant Pfizer
, in New York, and a second with Fosun Pharma
, in Shanghai.
As Giovanni Caforio, CEO of Bristol Myers Squibb
, told Fortune
this summer: “I have never seen the level of collaboration that’s going on today … so how do we take what we’ve learned in the last six months and apply it to cancer?” Or, for that matter, to dengue, diabetes, and myriad other plagues?
Read more: 'The whole world is coming together': How the race for a COVID vaccine is revolutionizing Big Pharma