Even people who never registered “mRNA” in their memory are now thinking about the mysterious genetic nomenclature that promises to save Many Wonderful Lives.
Medical scientists and pharmaceutical companies are also talking about mRNA in terms of pride over their eleventh hour rescue mission accomplished. Saving the human race only took 2 days!
But perhaps more remarkable is that Moderna designed its vaccine in just two days in January, before some people had even heard of the coronavirus.
I suspect more people had heard of “coronavirus” than “mRNA.”
Utilizing mRNA technology meant that both Pfizer and Moderna only needed the coronavirus’ genetic sequence to make a vaccine — no virus had to be cultivated in labs. That’s why the companies were able to progress in record time. By contrast, the development of more traditional vaccines can take years.
The FDA has never approved an mRNA-based vaccine or treatment before, so to many, Moderna’s bet looked risky. But now that the FDA has given the green light to the shots, mRNA vaccines are poised to set a new industry standard.
Poised to return astronomic profits is more like it.
mRNA technology is not “novel” (heh heh) and pharmaceuticals have been tweaking the technology for years, but it simply hasn’t been brought to market. It was prepped and ready for an “emergency,” and the pandemic apparently fits that bill. Extreme authorization is called for. Science wins again.
On January 6, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel emailed Barney Graham, a vaccine researcher at the National Institutes of Health. Bancel was troubled by the mysterious virus outbreak in Wuhan. He then talked with Graham about developing a vaccine.
Moderna had been working with the NIH on vaccines since 2017, but had not yet gotten one approved. Graham signed on to the partnership.
On January 11, researchers from China published the genetic sequence of the coronavirus. Two days later, Moderna’s team and NIH scientists had finalized the targeted genetic sequence they would use in the vaccine.
“This is not a complicated virus,” Bancel told The New York Times.
By February 24, Moderna had shipped its first vaccine batches to NIH scientists in Bethesda, Maryland. Researchers administered the first dose on March 16 in Seattle, Washington. That launched the first clinical trial of any coronavirus vaccine.
There are certain folks who might find the auspicious timing of these events to be dubiously convenient; in their minds, the only inference to be made is not one of human excellence but one of human corruption.I give science the benefit of the doubt. The simplest chain of events usually defines reality.
There is a conspiracy here, but it is not one of man-made pandemics or deliberate human depopulation. The only conspiracy is one of money and re-alignment of narratives. mRNA vaccine technology provides theoretically swift and condensed routes to final product.
“We’re not skipping steps — we actually have better technology,” [American Lung Association officer Albert] Rizzo told Business Insider. “Why did it take two weeks to cross the Atlantic back in the 1800s? Well, we had to go on a boat. Whereas now, you can get across the ocean in several hours.”
Aha. I see. I’m not convinced of the integrity of the analogy Rizzo pulled from his ass, but if you discover a technology that shortens the time spent developing a product, the cost reduction should have exert downward pressure on prices. The product’s secretive genesis is de-mystified and the ability to hide rationale for steep pricing behind the facade of “R&D” loses its luster.
The conspiracy is that mRNA vaccines will not become cheaper. In fact…