The quarterly BioProcess Insider eBook series launched in 2021 to investigate specific modalities and business strategies driving the biopharmaceutical sector based upon trends and discussion points presented in the Insider’s pages. Two of the four quarterly publications — this one included — have focused on the vaccine industry. If the series had launched in 2019, cell and gene therapies might have warranted a double edition, or perhaps investments in antibodies and antibody fragments would have driven a bispecific focus. Five or even 10 years ago, investments in the vaccine sector were limited, capacity expansions were rare, and the few new product approvals went mostly under the radar. Vaccines were the “backwaters” of the biopharmaceutical industry.
But the vaccine industry has surged in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, fueled by considerable research and development (R&D) funding and driven by promising new modalities. The Insider’s February 2021 eBook examined the economic impact of COVID-19, the pipeline of vaccines against it, and some of the manufacturing issues surrounding those candidates. This follow-up focuses on the most successful vaccines to have emerged from the novel coronavirus pandemic. Clinical candidates and commercialized products based on nucleic acids take center stage. The eBook describes how research into mRNA and plasmid DNA vaccines began in the 1970s and 1980s, how such products finally have arrived in the arms of billions of people, and how nucleic-acid vaccine production could revolutionize healthcare subsequently.
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