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We have seen incredible ramp in efforts to find and mass produce a vaccine: Expert

Brandon Daniels, Exiger President of Global Markets joins the On the Move panel to discuss the latest in a race for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: Brandon Daniels, he is Exiger's president of global market. He was also there early with the Trump administration, advising them about the need to ramp up PPE and not so much ventilators. Good to have you here, Brandon.

I got to ask you, doesn't sound like the Trump administration listened to you? So we're listening. What do you want us to know?

BRANDON DANIELS: Well, you know, the efforts across the federal government have been targeted in the areas that have made an enormous-- an enormous impact in our ability to, one, fight the coronavirus at its heart, which is in the health care system. We've had significant ramp ups in PPE. We've had the extraction of substandard materials from our health care workers and our health care market. And we've also seen an incredible ramp in efforts to find and to mass produce a vaccine. I think one of the things that we have to remember is that six months ago we anticipated that it may take years to generate a vaccine and, specifically, an effective vaccine.

And now, we're down to the place where we're talking about months of differentiation in opinion, right. And so from my perspective, I think that we have placed the bets and the investments where they are going to generate outcomes. And this isn't about elections. This isn't about the politics of it.

It's about people's health. And it's about efficacy and safety. And with the volume of vaccines in phase three trials, with the amount of infrastructure that's been put in place to then get these vaccine doses out to the people that need them, I think that we're on a trajectory that will save lives.

JULIE HYMAN: Brandon, it's Julie here. So your firm specialties are crisis management, right. And, obviously, this has been a crisis of epic proportions. But sort of to Adam's point, the government hasn't done a great job so far, right. So when you look at not just the development of the vaccine, but deployment of the vaccine, from a crisis management perspective, what's the most important thing for the government to sort of pay attention to, or the most important lesson?

BRANDON DANIELS: I think to look at the government's vaccine creation and distribution effort from perspective of overall COVID is to miss the fact that the targeted effort on the vaccine has had every agency across the federal government involved. And it's also had industry appropriately engaged, right. When you look at the logistics effort that has already been set up to mass produce the vaccine, we're looking at tens of millions of doses being prepared for shipping and for distribution before we get to approvals. We're looking at a cold storage and cold distribution system that has already been-- that has already been organized with industry. And then in addition to that, we're looking at multiple vaccine trials that, as you can see, are starting to balance each other, right.

We knew that there would be pauses. This is the first time in history that a vaccine trial has been this publicly assessed and has been this closely monitored. We knew that there would be safety pauses. We knew that there would be assessments of data along the way, specifically with regard to unexplained illness. And the fact that we have one vaccine that's paused, and then we've got several others all in phase three trials that continue to run, shows that we measured twice and cut once when it comes to vaccine development and vaccine distribution.

And these companies are the best companies in the world. They're not going to allow their brands to be damaged by an ineffective vaccine hitting the market. The other thing I would raise is that this isn't just a single bite at the apple. This is going to be a winnowing down of potential risks.

This is going to be a situation where you're going to have vaccines that reach an acceptable level of efficacy and significantly drop the volume of people that get sick in that at-risk population. And then we're going to have treatments or additional vaccines that are going to come along as well. This is the same thing that happened in polio all those years ago and will happen in coronavirus, where we will see a progression of the tech over time.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Brandon, Anjalee here. I'd like to just tie this all together to say that, you know, to the point of, even for PPE, there are groups like, Get Us PPE, who have really established the fact that the logistics that have been set up, the manufacturing processes that have been set up have not yet met the mark. And we're facing a second wave right now, where providers as well as individuals are kind of worried about what that means, in terms of the ability of these hospitals to cater to this-- to their larger American population. Using that as a backdrop, why should there be confidence that for the doses as well as the treatments for vaccines, why that should be-- why that would be met? Where does that confidence come from?

BRANDON DANIELS: So there are two things. One, the companies that are engaged in the vaccine production process have what are called, warm production lines that are built and designed to manufacture vaccines at these levels. PPE are, essentially, materials that have different sets of constraints and have a different scale that they've had to achieve in the past. So vaccines are different because we have to achieve this kind of scale with influenza vaccines. We have to achieve this kind of scale with other similar medicines and treatments.

And PPE, or ventilators, or medical devices that are more complex to manufacture haven't had to have-- haven't had to achieve this kind of scale in the past. And so the confidence should come from the fact that these production lines have been built to meet these needs in the past and can be leveraged for the future.

Whereas in PPE, you have problems with a fraudulent product because there's a diversity of manufacturers. You have problems with constraints on raw materials. And you also have problems with the fact that we were hit with PPE challenges at a time where no one could have expected the gravity of those PPE challenges.