This was a significant month for our industry, and for the world. Vaccine development has been around in some form for centuries, but this month revealed groundbreaking transformations in controlling a global pandemic.
Historically vaccines, which have virtually eliminated diseases such as the mumps or diphtheria, were developed by giving a weakened or inactivated virus to produce an immune response. But the Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines employ an entirely new approach using messenger RNA (mRNA).
While FDA approved mRNA vaccines are new, the approach is not unknown. It has been studied for decades. Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, companies were working on designs for vaccines they could quickly adapt to a pandemic strain of virus. mRNA’s ability to provide the genetic instructions to teach the immune system and activate its defenses against this precise target of SARS-CoV-2 has proven to be the most effective antidote.
mRNA’s potential to be a solution for various applications from vaccines, novel cancer therapeutics, and personalized medicine is now more much more than just a hope. The way we bring treatment to patients in need and how we approach finding solutions to the world’s biggest health challenges has been forever changed.
As a company that has participated in this industry for more than 22 years, this entire process has been amazing to watch. We applaud the hard work and collaboration by research scientists, government agencies, and private industry that have come together to respond to a global pandemic in an unprecedented amount of time.
I have always had confidence in our scientific community's collective ingenuity. This extraordinary accomplishment is certainly just the beginning of many more to come.