Despite China's headstart on the global coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan – and the mostly wide acceptance of the World Health Organization as the authority on it – the United States is the leader in the race to find a vaccine.
"I think we're going to have a better vaccine, and I think we're probably going to have it sooner based on where we are in clinical development, some of the early progress that we've shown," according to former U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb, who has been critical of the White House coronavirus task force's response, on CBS's "Face the Nation."
Gottlieb was more than just optimistic on the U.S. progress toward a vaccine, but he was skeptical of China's, which had a few months start on responding to the coronavirus.
"The Chinese have four vaccines in clinical development right now," Gottlieb told host Margaret Brennan. "One is based on a novel platform, an adenoviral vector platform. The data came out last week in The Lancet on that. It didn't look overwhelmingly strong. It was positive. It provided some immunity. It's probably going to work.
"They have three other vaccines in development based on old technology, inactivated virus. Those vaccines, if they do work, probably are going to provide lower levels of immunity than the platforms that the U.S. and Europeans are working with."
There is not just quality in the private research and development of U.S. pharmaceutical companies, but world-class quantity, he added.
"Well, the two that are perceived to be the furthest along in terms of where they are in clinical development, that've shown some preliminary evidence of benefit, are the one by Oxford that was now partnered with AstraZeneca, and then the vaccine with Moderna where they're partnered with Lonza on their manufacturing," he concluded.
"There's a number of manufacturers that are either equidistant to them or not far behind. I'm on the board of Pfizer. They have a vaccine in clinical development right now in clinical trials, Phase 1, Phase 2 trials. J&J has a vaccine. Merck has a vaccine. Sanofi has a vaccine. All look promising based on public statements they made and some of the preliminary evidence that they put out."
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