Bill Gates To Build Factories For 7 Leading Vaccines To Help Accelerate Long Journey From Development To Public Use
“Even though we’ll end up picking at most two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven, just so that we don’t waste time in serially saying which vaccine works and then building the factory," Bill Gates said. The strategy means billions of dollars will be wasted, but Gates said the loss would be worth it in the long run.
The Wall Street Journal:
Bill Gates To Spend Billions On Coronavirus Vaccine Development
Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates said his foundation will spend billions of dollars to fund the construction of factories for the most promising efforts to develop a vaccine to combat the novel coronavirus. Mr. Gates, a billionaire philanthropist who is one the richest people in the world, said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will work with seven makers of a possible vaccine to build these factories. Mr. Gates, who announced the efforts in an appearance on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” Thursday, acknowledged that billions of dollars would be wasted on vaccines that won’t pan out. (Calfas, 4/5)
The New York Times:
Can An Old Vaccine Stop The New Coronavirus?
A vaccine that was developed a hundred years ago to fight the tuberculosis scourge in Europe is now being tested against the coronavirus by scientists eager to find a quick way to protect health care workers, among others. The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine is still widely used in the developing world, where scientists have found that it does more than prevent TB. The vaccine prevents infant deaths from a variety of causes, and sharply reduces the incidence of respiratory infections. The vaccine seems to “train” the immune system to recognize and respond to a variety of infections, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, experts say. (Rabin, 4/3)
This Tiny Federal Agency Was Built To Respond To A Crisis Like Coronavirus. Now That It’s Here, Is BARDA Ready?
It seems like an agency tailor-made for a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, was created to invest in drug development projects that private industry wouldn’t touch, such as anthrax vaccines and therapies for Ebola, Zika, or swine flu. Lawmakers were so confident that BARDA could help scientists develop a coronavirus vaccine, therapy, or even a diagnostic test that Congress has showered the agency with a $3.5 billion boost in funding, more than tripling its total budget. But consultants and experts in biotech and in academia told STAT they had serious concerns about BARDA’s preparedness to absorb the massive new workload it will take to identify targets for a coronavirus vaccine or therapy. (Florko, 4/6)