Washington (AFP)

Nine bosses of companies developing Covid-19 vaccines signed a joint commitment on Monday to respect the highest scientific rigor, an implicit response to concerns in the United States about possible pressure from Donald Trump to have a vaccine authorized before the presidential election.

"We, the undersigned biopharmaceutical companies, wish to reiterate our continued commitment to develop and test potential vaccines against Covid-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and rigorous scientific principles," said in a joint statement the CEOs of 'AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer and Sanofi.

The companies undertake in particular to "only file an authorization request, or emergency authorization, after having demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in the context of a phase 3 clinical trial designed and carried out in order to meet the conditions set by regulatory authorities such as the FDA, "the United States Medicines Agency.

It is this FDA that focuses the concerns of several experts and former health officials in the United States, after it has authorized for emergency use, despite the lack of rigorous evidence, two treatments against Covid-19, l 'hydroxychloroquine (authorization subsequently revoked) and the blood plasma of recovered patients, both touted by Donald Trump.

In recent days, Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden has accused Donald Trump of "undermining public confidence" by regularly raising the possibility of a vaccine before the November 3 election.

The head of the FDA, for his part, guaranteed a purely scientific process to judge the effectiveness of a vaccine.

In the United States, independent expert committees oversee clinical trials, which are well advanced in the United States for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and for which health authorities want a distribution system in place to. here Nov. 1.

The FDA depends in theory on these independent committees, and on the vaccine manufacturers, who must themselves submit an application for authorization.

The results of clinical trials are not expected to be known until the last two months of the year, according to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

"It is extremely unlikely, but not impossible," that the trials will yield results before the election, the chief scientist of the White House operation to produce vaccines, Operation Warp Speed, told NPR radio. Moncef Slaoui.

© 2020 AFP