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COVID-19 Vaccine Landscape (July 7, 2020)

July 7, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated intense interest in efforts by the global pharmaceutical community to develop COVID-19 vaccines. The BizInt Smart Charts team has applied tools in the BizInt Smart Charts product family, including VantagePoint – Smart Charts Edition (VP-SCE), to create a concise visualization of the leading COVID-19 vaccines in development.

Click here for the most recent version of this landscape.

COVID-19 Vaccine Landscape

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About the COVID-19 Vaccine Bullseye

The COVID-19 Bullseye provides an ‘at-a-glance’ review of the vaccine landscape – showing highest trial phase, vaccine technology, and lead organization for each vaccine.

Trial phases are shown in the concentric rings, with programs closer to the center further along in the development process (from Phase 1 in the outer ring to Launched at the center).

The National Institutes of Health describe clinical trial status as follows:

  • Phase 1: Studies that are usually conducted with healthy volunteers and that emphasize safety. The goal is to find out what the drug's most frequent and serious adverse events are and, often, how the drug is metabolized and excreted.
  • Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (does the vaccine invoke an immune response). Safety continues to be evaluated, and short-term adverse events are studied.
  • Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

The bullseye is divided into sectors representing vaccine technologies, which are described in the sidebar at right.

Each vaccine is labeled by a commonly used name and by the organizations leading the development of the vaccine.

Vaccines are marked with the American flag if the trials in ClinicalTrials.gov list only the United States as a trial location.

Do You Find This Bullseye Interesting?

The COVID-19 Bullseye is an example of a BizDash project. BizDash (BizInt Smart Strategy Dashboards) is a service offered by the BizInt team. We use BizInt Smart Charts tools with supported drug pipeline, clinical trial and biomedical literature databases to create data-centric reports and visualizations targeted to your analytic needs.

Contact us if you would like to learn more.

How We Built This

The VP-SCE Bullseye for COVID-19 vaccines uses data from clinicaltrials.gov, expert analysis, and the powerful data analysis and visualization software tools in the BizInt Smart Charts product family to create a bullseye-styled graphic, following leading contenders from Phase 1 clinical trials to launch.

  • We searched NIH ClinicalTrials.gov using the link on the clinicaltrials.gov homepage for "clinical studies related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)." The standard exports offered by clinicaltrials.gov do not include all necessary fields. The only export with the full set of fields is XML. This includes essential data for the bullseye visualization including trial sponsors and countries. We used the BizInt Smart Charts Drug Development Suite to import the XML file and automatically create a tabular view. This table was then exported to VantagePoint - Smart Charts Edition (VP-SCE) for further analysis and to generate the visualization.
  • We filtered to vaccine trials and identified the vaccines for the bullseye. From the full set of trial records, a keyword search was run with VP-SCE and reviewed to identify trials for vaccines. That identified set of trials was checked against other public information to identify additional vaccines. For clarity's sake, vaccines currently marketed for another disease were omitted.
  • We refined data to assign vaccine technology, trial phase, and lead organization to each vaccine. VP-SCE was used to assign a vaccine technology category based on the record content combined with review of additional publicly available sources such as the WHO list of vaccines in development. Since there may be multiple trials for the same vaccine, placement on the bullseye is determined by the phase of the most advanced trial. Cleanup tools in VP-SCE enabled easy review of drug and sponsor information to select a single drug name and a key sponsor or sponsors for each vaccine. The country field from the data was analyzed to identify drugs with trials in a single country or multiple countries.
  • We generated the bullseye visualization. We then used VP-SCE to automatically build the bullseye visualization, placing each drug according to the most advanced clinical trial phase and type of vaccine. The flexibility of the software allows the easy generation of multiple bullseyes using the same dataset.
  • We are updating the bullseye on a regular basis. To generate a new bullseye we use the Update tool in BizInt Smart Charts to automatically identify new trial records as well as records that have changed. This streamlines the process of generating a new bullseye since only a fraction of the trial records need to be reviewed.

Notes

  • The bullseye is updated every two weeks. Current content on ClinicalTrials.gov may be different due to the rapid pace of change in this area.
  • Only trials included in ClinicalTrials.gov are included in this analysis.

COVID-19 Visualization Archive

  • July 29, 2020 — A bullseye showing the current state of COVID-19 vaccine development. BioNTech/Pfizer trials move to Phase 3.
  • July 28, 2020 — A bullseye showing the state of COVID-19 vaccine development.
  • July 14, 2020 — A bullseye showing the state of COVID-19 vaccine development. Moderna/NIH trials move to Phase 3.
  • July 7, 2020 — The first bullseye showing the state of COVID-19 vaccine development.

Media Inquiries

See: BizInt Solutions and Search Technology Publish COVID-19 Bullseye Graphic to Aid Understanding of Vaccine Progress

Vaccine Technologies

  • DNA
    These vaccines contain no part of the virus. DNA vaccines use gene technology to introduce RNA into the body. DNA contains the genetic instructions to make proteins. The body uses the DNA from the vaccine to make virus proteins which then cause the immune response. Several vaccines are in development using DNA technology, but none are approved.
  • Immune cell
    With this vaccine, live immune cells from healthy donors are used to induce a immune response. This is a novel technology.
  • Inactivated
    Inactivated vaccines contain a killed version of the virus. This is the same technology used for the annual flu shot. Because the whole virus is present, there could be more side effects with this technology, but fewer than with a live vaccine.
  • Modified Antigen-Presenting Cells
    Antigen-presenting cells have the part of the virus that induces the immune response on the surface. Rather than using COVID-19 or its components, this technology uses a different vector that has been modified to have the key COVID-19 proteins on the cell surface. In the case of COVID-19, these vaccines target the spike protein visible on the outside of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Non-replicating viral vector
    This technology uses a different virus instead of COVID-19 to induce the immune response. A non-replicating vector does not multiply in the body. Additionally, the vector may be a weakened version of a virus or the body may already be immune to the selected vector virus. This vector virus has been modified to produce virus proteins that induce the immune response. The U.S. Strategic National Stockpile includes a smallpox vaccine using this technology.
  • Protein subunit
    Rather than the whole virus like inactivated vaccines, these vaccines contain only the part that stimulates an immune response. Because it is only part of the virus, there may be fewer side effects. Some pertussis vaccines use this technology.
  • RNA
    These vaccines contain no part of the virus. RNA vaccines use gene technology to introduce RNA into the body. RNA transfers the genetic information from DNA to make proteins. The body uses the RNA from the vaccine to make virus proteins which then cause the immune response. Several vaccines are in development using RNA technology, but none are approved.
  • Virus-like particle
    VLP vaccines use gene technology to produce particles that resemble the shape of the virus. The particles can cause an immune response, but are non-infectious. This is the technology behind the HPV vaccines.