The more things change..

Moderna announced this week that it is starting clinical trials for a booster shot targeting the Omicron variant of the Sars-Cov-2 virus. With the pharmaceutical companies and gatekeepers fighting to keep their research and trial data secret, it is no wonder that wild claims are cropping up about what happens behind closed doors at Moderna. A little digging on the internet reveals that Moderna was a bit of a unicorn as a start-up with several familiar faces— Merck, Bill and Melinda Gates, HHS, and DARPA —signing up to invest in its mysterious mRNA technology. In 2017, Financial Times wrote that investors were concerned (paywall unless you’ve got Safari, sorry!) that the company would never live up to the hype. While fans of the company conceded that vaccine development was a humble beginning for mRNA technology, critics argued that vaccines are “a low-margin business that will never produce bumper profits.” What’s more, the company was “too secretive, having published scant data showing that its science works.”  What a difference two years makes.

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