For a Covid-19 vaccine, WHO you gonna call?

Much of the world’s vaccine manufacturing capacity lies with a fairly small number of companies – in the west, at least – and it is to these groups that the World Health Organization would likely turn should a preventative treatment for Covid-19 be found. Years of consolidation has focused this capability into the hands of four global majors, although two of these rely on dominant products: Pfizer derives 90% of its vaccine sales from the pneumococcal jab Prevnar 13, while almost half of Merck & Co’s business is in Gardasil, against HPV infection, EvaluatePharma data show. The technology on which any Covid-19 vaccine might be based remains unclear, of course, and it could emerge from the labs of more experimental approaches from the likes of the RNA specialist Moderna, although Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson have also said they are working on development. However, when it comes to manufacturing scale will be required, and it is the companies listed below that are most likely to be able to deliver at global volumes. A separate analysis from Vantage explored what demand for previous pandemic products looked like: Will sales of any Covid-19 vaccine echo swine and avian flu shots?

Global vaccine companies and their specialisms
Company  Area of specialism
Glaxosmithkline  Broad, incl flu, childhood and shingles vaccines
Merck & Co Broad, incl childhood and HPV vaccines
Pfizer Primarily pneumococcal, also some childhood and travel vaccines
Sanofi Broad, incl flu, childhood and travel vaccines
CSL Seasonal and pandemic flu 
Emergent Biosolutions Anthrax, smallpox, other bioterrorism threats
Mitsubishi Tanabe  Broad, incl flu, childhood and travel vaccines (Japan) 
Sinovac Biotech Broad, incl flu and childhood vaccines (China)
GC Pharma Broad, incl flu and childhood vaccines (S Korea)
Valneva Japanese encephalitis and cholera
Johnson & Johnson Broad, incl childhood and travel vaccines
Astrazeneca Nasal spray-delivered flu vaccine
Takeda Mainly childhood vaccines (Japan)
Bavarian Nordic Smallpox 
LG Chem Broad, incl flu, childhood and travel vaccines (Asia)
Source: EvaluatePharma. 

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