Vaccine Maker That's Most Likely to Blow Past Pfizer and Moderna



 We've seen over the past 11 days that Pfizer and Moderna are, without question, the clear leaders in the coronavirus vaccine race. Last week, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced great efficacy results for their COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162b2. Earlier this week, Moderna followed up with its own fantastic efficacy results for experimental coronavirus vaccine mRNA-1273.

These companies are on track to soon file for U.S. emergency use authorization (EUA). And their chances of winning EUA appear to be quite good. Both BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 could become available to the first wave of Americans by the end of the year.

While Pfizer and Moderna are the leaders now, that doesn't mean they'll maintain the position indefinitely. Here's the coronavirus vaccine maker that's most likely to blow past both of these drugmakers.


Johnson & Johnson also had a temporary pause for its late-stage coronavirus vaccine study due to a potential safety issue. An investigation determined that the issue wasn't related to J&J's experimental vaccine, though, and the study moved forward. J&J hasn't indicated when it expects to announce initial results from its late-stage study, although sometime in early 2021 seems likely.

The great efficacy results for Pfizer and Moderna could bode well for both AstraZeneca and J&J. Pfizer's and Moderna's experimental vaccines use modified messenger RNA (mRNA) to instruct the ribosomes in cells to produce proteins that mirror the spike protein on the surface of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. AstraZeneca and J&J use a different approach, where adenoviruses (which are a leading cause of the common cold) deliver DNA that contains instructions for building a copy of the coronavirus spike protein.

In theory, at least, the adenovirus DNA approach could deliver similar efficacy as the mRNA approach used by Pfizer and Moderna. It's too soon to know if that will be the case, though. J&J has stated that it's modeling for 70% efficacy, but thinks the actual level could be higher.


The COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca have at least one common denominator: They all require two doses. To be fully vaccinated, individuals must receive the first dose and then get a second dose several weeks later. J&J's coronavirus vaccine candidate, though, requires only one dose.

This could give J&J a significant competitive advantage over its rivals. A single-dose vaccine would have a lower cost than a two-dose regimen. People would also be more likely to want to receive a vaccine that they only have to take once. 

Johnson & Johnson also won't have the ultra-cold storage requirements that Pfizer's vaccine has. Its COVID-19 vaccine can remain stable for up to two years at around minus four degrees Fahrenheit and for up to three months at temperatures between around 35 degrees and 46 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In addition, J&J beats Moderna when it comes to production capacity. Moderna has stated that it will be able to make around 500 million doses of mRNA-1273 next year, although the biotech says that it could "possibly" up that to 1 billion doses. J&J is on track to produce more than 1 billion doses per year.





Vaccine Maker That's Most Likely to Blow Past Pfizer and Moderna Vaccine Maker That's Most Likely to Blow Past Pfizer and Moderna Reviewed by Anson Moore on November 20, 2020 Rating: 5

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