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New BIO Report Finds More Innovation & Investment Needed in Vaccine Development

January 25, 2024
Media Contact
Vicky Stinson

Today, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) released a new report, "The State of Innovation in Vaccines and Prophylactic Antibodies for Infectious Diseases," examining the latest scientific and investment trends in vaccine development. The global vaccine and immunization pipeline boasts nearly 250 novel clinical-stage programs but lacks the depth needed to combat many infectious pathogens, according to the report.

"Our industry is working tirelessly to develop novel vaccines and antibodies for patients," said Rachel King, President and CEO of BIO. "This work has the potential to save lives, reduce health costs, and better prepare us for future public health threats. To ensure these scientific innovations continue to advance, we must make investing in vaccine development a greater priority."

"We've seen incredible progress recently in areas like RSV and HPV, but unless there is more dedicated, persistent investment toward new vaccines, we'll fall behind," said David Thomas, Senior Vice President of Industry Research and Analysis at BIO and one of the report's authors.

According to the report, the global vaccine development pipeline:

  • Holds immense promise. Globally, the company-sponsored clinical pipeline for infectious disease vaccines consists of 249 active novel clinical-stage programs covering 31 infectious diseases for which there is no approved vaccine. Between 2013 and 2022, vaccines' likelihood of securing FDA approval from initial clinical studies has been higher than for other types of treatments.
  • Has breadth, but not depth. Due to market issues that uniquely affect vaccines, just 10% of infectious disease threats addressed in the vaccine pipeline have 10 or more programs. Nearly 30% of the pipeline is for COVID-19.
  • Lacks sufficient venture capital investment. In the past 10 years, companies with infectious disease vaccine programs received 3.4% of the total venture capital raised for biopharmaceutical companies ($6.5 billion). For comparison, drug development efforts for oncology received 38% of the total venture capital, 12 times as much in the same period ($72.6 billion).

The report’s analysis of the prophylactic antibodies shows the clinical pipeline is small relative to vaccines, with only 16 in clinical-stage development. However, recent progress in this space has yielded FDA-approved prophylactic antibodies now used to protect against seven unique pathogens.

In order to close the investment gap and bring desperately needed vaccines and antibodies to market, the report recommends speeding the development of novel approaches with platform technologies, improving patient access to vaccines that are available, combatting vaccine misinformation, and adapting evaluation processes to create a more predictable review environment.

"Vaccines have led to a 100% reduction in the risk of death for a host of devastating diseases," said Phyllis Arthur, Senior Vice President for Infectious Disease and Emerging Science Policy at BIO. " Yet many common infections don't have any vaccines in clinical development. That needs to change. We need to pursue both scientific and policy changes that can help spur investment in these vital products.”

The full report, "The State of Innovation in Vaccines and Prophylactic Antibodies for Infectious Diseases," and other BIO Industry Analysis reports are available for download at

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