Bolstered by the massive success of its coronavirus vaccine, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc is investing in expanding its vaccine technology.
The coronavirus vaccine, which was developed in conjunction with German company BioNTech SE, relied on mRNA technology. The success of the mRNA techniques has opened the door for billions in investment and enthusiasm for its untapped potential.
In mRNA technology, the vaccine molecules travel to a person’s cells and gives the protein-producing cells the instructions how to train the immune system to fight off the coronavirus. Most vaccines use a weakened and mild version of the virus to teach the body how to prepare and protect against a more dangerous version.
“There is a technology that has proven dramatic impact and dramatic potential,” CEO Albert Bourla told the Wall Street Journal. “We are the best positioned company right now to take it to the next step because of our size and our expertise.”
The mRNA research will got towards developing new vaccines for other viruses, as well as creating vaccines for conditions that do have preexisting treatments that come with drawbacks, such as painful side effects or inconsistent protection.
“We are now ahead and we plan to maintain the gap,” Bourla said, noting that scientists and experts gained a decade of experience and experimentation in the year they spent pouring their efforts into creating a vaccine to combat the coronavirus.