Race For Coronavirus Vaccine Heats Up: Biotech ETFs To Gain

The COVID-19 pandemic, which infected more than 5.6 million people globally claiming more than 340,000 lives and halted economic activities by forcing people to stay indoors, has kept biotech players all over the world on their toes for a vaccine. This new opportunity has made the sector the most attractive one to investors.

Race for Vaccine Heats Up

Several companies are working on immunization against the novel coronavirus with more than 100 vaccines in the pipeline and a dozen that have made it to human trials.

Moderna (MRNA - Free Report) is leading the way with promising results in an early-stage clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine. The phase 1 trial developed neutralizing antibodies in coronavirus patients, a promising finding that has propelled the vaccine messenger RNA (mRNA)-1273 to the next phase of clinical testing. Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) is currently in its phase 1 clinical study of experimental COVID-19 DNA vaccine INO-4800, which began on Apr 6. Meanwhile, Novavax (NVAX - Free Report) has started the phase 1 clinical trial of the coronavirus vaccine candidate called NVX-CoV2373 and has enrolled the trial’s first participants, with preliminary results expected in July.

Other drug giants also joined the race. Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) has begun testing a coronavirus vaccine, mRNA, in the United States in collaboration with German biotech company BioNTech BNTX. The initial trial will involve 360 volunteers, and the first subjects have already received injections. Sanofi (SNY - Free Report) has joined forces with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Free Report) to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Both drugmakers plan to begin initial clinical tests of the vaccine prototype in the second half of 2020. The vaccine should be available in the second half of 2021, provided the results are positive. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) is expected to begin phase 1 trial for its coronavirus vaccine by September 2020.

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