The Birth or Death of a new Era in Medical Tyranny – Mick Raven
Between the Moderna and Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, there are two mRNA therapeutics on the market … the only two.
At least four years before the pandemic, Moderna and BioNTech were known as cutting-edge mavericks with completely unproven technology and sky-high market values. Moderna, in particular, was able to raise investor dollars—in January 2017 it had about $1 billion in cash, a Global Health Partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and numerous grants from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), but no products on the market.
It was only in January 2017 that the company publicly updated the world on its 12 mRNA development candidates, which included vaccines and therapeutics in infectious diseases, immuno-oncology and cardiovascular diseases. Most of BioNTech’s efforts with mRNA were in the oncology space. But mRNA therapeutics were all promise, no impact, until now.
Katalin Kariko began working on mRNA therapeutics in the 1970s while working in her native Hungary. She and her family left Hungary for the U.S. in 1985 to work at Temple University in Philadelphia, then moved to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine. But her research was believed to be too radical and too financially risky.
Eventually, continuing her work despite resistance on the part of funders, she and her colleague at the University of Pennsylvania, Drew Weissman, developed an approach using synthetic mRNA. This is now the basis of the COVID-19 vaccines and Kariko is a senior vice president of BioNTech.
In 1990, while a Research Assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Karikó submitted her first grant application in which she proposed to establish mRNA-based gene therapy.Ever since, mRNA-based therapy has been Karikó’s primary research interest.
Weissman did a residency at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the supervision of Anthony Fauci – the current director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Weissman, an immunologist studying vaccines, met colleague and collaborator Katalin Karikó at the University of Pennsylvania.
At the time, Karikó had been trying RNA therapy on cerebral diseases and strokes. Weissman began collaborating with Karikó, who then switched her focus to RNA based vaccines. The main obstacle they faced was that the RNA itself was causing unwanted immune and inflammatory reactions.
Other Pushers for mRNA:
The Vanguard Group