COVID-19, Prevention

Vaccine Development Pipeline


  • Genetic structure of SARS-CoV-2 released on 11 Jan 2020
  • Several vaccine candidates (anti-spike; "S" protein) created within 2 days of release of the structure
  • At least 115 vaccine candidates have been developed; 78 are confirmed and active.
  • Types of vaccine products include:  
    • RNA
    • DNA
    • Virus-like particles (VLPs)
    • Peptides
    • Viral vectors (replicating and non-replicating)
    • Recombinant Proteins
    • Live attenuated viruses
    • Inactivated viruses
  • RNA and DNA vaccines have the greatest ability for rapid, large-scale manufacturing (scale-up) and greater flexibility for antigen manipulation.  Viral vectors have a large level of protein expression, stability, and strong immune responses. Recombinant protein technology is widely used for many existing diseases, so lots of experience and existing production capacity.

Vaccine Development Pipeline

  • Currently in Clinical Trials
Platform / Type of Candidate


Maker Comments

Lipid Nanoparticle (LNP)- encapsulated mRNA


Phase 3 enrollment announced 27 Jul 2020 (30,000 participants at 89 U.S. sites)

Moderna / NIAID Encodes for the "S" Protein. Preliminary report of two-dose regimens in a dose-escalation study of 45 adults age 18-55; high titers of specific neutralizing antibodies in a dose response with CD4 T-cell response also present; acceptable safety profile (N Engl J Med online 14 Jul 2020, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2022483)

Chimpanzee adenovirus vectored

ChAdOx1 nCov-19

Phase 1/2

Oxford / Astra Zeneca Expresses "S" protein of SARS CoV-2. Single blind RCT (1077 participants) meningococcal vaccine as control; specific antibody and T-cell observed with prime-boost regimen; acceptable safety profile reported)(Lancet online 20 Jul 2020)

Adenovirus Type 5 


Phase 2 CanSino Biological Inc./Beijing Institute of Biotechnology

Replication deficient Viral Vector. Expresses "S" Protein. Phase 2 double blind, placebo controlled RCT (603 participants) of two  single dose regimens (1 × 1011 viral particles per mL or 5 × 1010 viral particles per mL) vs placebo reported safe with significant immune responses both anitbody and cell-mediated (Lancet online 20 Jul 2020)

DNA plasmid vaccine Electroporation device


Phase 1 
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Same technology used for vaccine candidates against Lassa, Nipah, HIV, Filovirus, HPV, Zika

Hepatitis B

Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus grown in  Vero-cell

Phase 1

Beijing Institute of Biological Products/Wuhan Institute of Biological Products  Inactivated SARS virus

Lipid Nanoparticle (LNP)- encapsulated mRNA


Phase 1

Phase 1/2               NCT04368728



Expresses 'S' Protein Trimer

Strong neutralizing antibody responses in Phase I study 

  •  At least 70 other vaccine candidates in preclinical development listed on WHO website