Darwin’s Bottleneck: The next 20 months define the next 20 years.

Good News:

From the viral genetic-sequence data publication to the first human study in clinical trial it took biotech companies 3,1 month with SARS-Cov-2. With SARS it was over 20 months.

Currently, there are ca. 1.980 clinical trials with corona related drugs or vaccines, 109 of which deal with vaccines. Of those, 42 are in clinical trials, 7 of which are in phase III, 29 are in phase II and 6 are in phase I. The substances in phase III, however, often jumped phases I or II. Thus, many of them still have to prove efficacy and toxicity alongside effectiveness. The success rate for phase II is 18% on average, of phase III it is 50%. Combined, it might be 9%, BIO found in 2015 that for vaccines the LAO (likelihood of approval) is 16%.

FDA and EMA usually require two phase III trials to be sure to rule out unforeseen side effects. Given that the successfull vaccines would be produces on a mass scale for billions of people, this seems to be a wise course of action in this case as well.

When will the first people be inoculated?

Realistically not before April 2021, and probably even after October 2021. A plurality of international superforecasters (35%) believe that there’s no vaccine made available to 25 Million Americans before April 2022, and it will be months until over 60% of a population is vaccinated.

For a majority of people within the EU to be vaccinated, the best case seems to be October 2021, and the most probably case October 2022.

Bad News:

Until there is a vaccine, 79% (Germany) to 84% (USA) of the people plan to reduce consumption, leading to a dampened economy and, consequently, a steep increase in global poverty levels and political instability.

Of course, consumer confidence would rise once there’s a schedule for a vaccine, but it may also suffer if long-term harms of a Covid-19 infections are found to be more drastic than currently assumed.

That is to say: for 15 to 24 months, our current way of living is the new normal. Any company, any institution and any society should prepare accordingly.

This period now represents the equivalent of an evolutionary bottleneck:

Those who manage to keep their spirit, resources and level of entropy high will benefit from those starting conditions once the world is open again. Those who need time to attend to their wounds first will lag behind for the decades to come.

Bundesvorsitzender Junger Wirtschaftsrat, Beiratsvorsitzender Bundesblock, Beiratsvorsitzender KI-Verband, Chef bei Ewald & Rössing.

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