Photo Credit: Dado Ruvic | Reuters
Moderna, a biotech company, intends to develop an all-around annual booster for people. The pandemic has recently highlighted the importance of individuals receiving booster shots against coronavirus, flu, and other viruses several times a year. Moderna, on the other hand, believes that this should change. In a recent announcement made by the company, Moderna said that within five years, its experts would create a vaccine that only needed to be administered once.
According to Moderna, Covid-19 is evolving over time. This requires biotech companies and other health agencies to fund vaccine development. CEO Stephane Bancel stated that the company would make people’s lives easier by developing an improved version of the virus that would only need to be administered once a year.
Bancel noted that the product they are developing would last three to five years. The CEO compares the company’s item to a smartphone.
“You don’t get the amazing camera, amazing everything the first time you get an iPhone, but you get a lot of things. A lot of us buy a new iPhone every September, and you get new apps, and you get refreshed apps. And that’s exactly the same idea, which is you’ll get Covid and flu and RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] in your single dose,” said the company executive.
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in tens of billions of dollars in revenue for Moderna as various countries purchased vaccines to combat the virus. However, according to Bancel, the current recovery rate across countries will eventually cause Moderna’s revenue figures to fall. He also stated that, despite having 70 markets penetrated at the height of the pandemic, the countries could all withdraw from purchasing additional vaccines.
“I think we are slowly moving — if not already in some countries — to a world where all the tools are available, and everybody can make their own decision based on their risk tolerance,” he said.
Bancel went on to say that people will most likely choose to live with the virus, as they did with the flu. “There’s always a 20% probability that we get a very nasty variant that drives very severe disease that has a lot of mutation,” Bancel stated. This means that the future of the vaccine industry may be determined by the virus’s behavior as well as the mitigation strategies implemented by countries.
What the future is for Moderna
Moderna’s research is not limited to combating the Covid-19 virus. It is currently developing over 40 products, with additional products in the pipeline directed at alleviating the health concerns of people across the globe.
Bancel revealed that Moderna is also developing a cancer vaccine. The vaccine’s details should be available to the public by the end of this year. If the vaccine’s testing and evaluation go as planned, it could be approved by appropriate authorities as soon as two years from now.
Moderna is now creating its own Monkeypox vaccine, which, according to the company, is still being tested inside their laboratory. This is in response to the World Health Organization’s recent decision to qualify the current Monkeypox outbreak as a global health emergency.
Moderna and its future plans
Moderna intends to expand its operations to other countries, with a focus on ten Asian and European markets. Denmark, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Singapore are among them. The plan would cost the company millions of dollars while also creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the area.
Moderna has set a lofty goal of reaching 40 to 60 countries in three years. By that time, said Moderna, it would have already established its strong presence within the countries.
It has recently signed manufacturing agreements in South Korea, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Moderna also intends to establish a plant in North and Southeast Asia. According to Bancel, the facilities they intend to build will develop vaccines specialized to the needs of the area it is placed.
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.