The CEOs of top biopharma companies issued an extraordinary PR statement today to counter president Trump’s politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis by rushing a COVID-19 vaccine to market.
The heads of AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson and Merck pledged to “stand with science,” not political pressure to come up with a vaccine prior to the presidential election
They promised to seek approval of a vaccine only after its safety and efficacy has been established through a Phase 3 clinical study that is designed and conducted to meet the requirements of expert regulatory authorities such as FDA.
“We, the undersigned biopharmaceutical companies, want to make clear our on-going commitment to developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles,” say the CEOs.
They reinstated their commitment to 1) “always make the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals our top priority;” 2) “continue to adhere to high scientific and ethical standards regarding the conduct of clinical trials and the rigor of manufacturing processes;” and “work to ensure a sufficient supply and range of vaccine options, including those suitable for global access.”
The CEOs believe the pledge “will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved.”
The statement follows last month’s announcement by Peter Marks, the FDA’s director for biologics evaluation and research, that he would quit if an unproven vaccine gets pushed out into the market.
On Sept. 7, Trump said a vaccine "will be very safe and very effective, and it will be delivered very soon” and that we “could even have it during the month of October."
The biopharma CEOs threw some cold water on that Trumpian fantasy.