Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, the development of safe and effective vaccines has become an urgent issue of global concern. The development of a vaccine candidate requires considerable investments in research and development (R&D). The Global Health Centre recently published a new resource on Covid-19 vaccine R&D investments aiming to shed light on the distribution of risks and potential rewards that may influence global access to Covid-19 vaccines. By having a clearer picture of who has invested how much, when, and where, this open dataset also aims to inform future approaches to vaccine R&D.
This research gathers investment data from publicly available sources, such as news releases and reports, and online data repositories. The preliminary findings show that publicly available announcements of R&D investments are primarily generated by public sources (98.12% of the USD 5.9bn tracked), with substantial information gaps regarding R&D investments from pharmaceutical companies. The United States and Germany are by far the largest investors in vaccine R&D, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was the third largest investor in vaccine R&D (with 22% of all investments channeled through CEPI). Private companies and academic groups such as Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, BioNTech/Pfizer, CureVac and the University of Oxford represent the primary recipients of R&D funding. R&D investments for Covid-19 vaccines are concentrated in a relatively small number of high-income countries, with Western European countries, the United States, and Canada accounting for most of the funds received, with India, China, Nigeria, and Indonesia representing important exceptions.
Pharmaceutical industry investments are likely to be underreported given the lack of publicly available data, as are investments by some countries where vaccines are known to have been or are currently in development.
To get a more comprehensive overview of the Covid-19 vaccine landscape, the Global Health Centre is also tracking and publishing data on Covid-19 Vaccine Purchasing & Manufacturing Arrangements. As the situation continues to evolve, these resource pages are regularly updated. Complete the following online form to receive update notifications.
Adrián Alonso Ruiz is the lead researcher for this initiative, with contributions from Anna Bezruki, Marcela Vieira and Suerie Moon.