The tech behind the search for a COVID-19 vaccine


This week on marketplace tech, we're reporting on the innovations that will help us transition to a post pandemic feature, a lot of hopes are pinned on a vaccine for covid nineteen, and there are in fact, a lot of efforts on that front. Some combined the old ways of making vaccines with new techniques, suppose instead of manufacturing all these viruses are protein, fragments or dead viruses and using that as a vaccine. Suppose we skip that step. Safi call is a biotech investor and author. He's describing technique for vaccine development that was invented a decade ago and just take the code for making that fragment. And give it to the body's cells. So instead of having a giant lab and a warehouse, cranking out these proteins that we then put into lots of vials and deliver billions of doses around the world. Your own cells will be the manufacturing plant while this technique is super promising, it hasn't yet lead to a successful vaccine any disease mainly because there's a huge shortage of funding, the problem is there hasn't been enough incentive to work in infectious disease. SARS cove one which came out eighteen years ago. The first sort of version of the SARS virus, eighty percent genetically identical to the current SARS Cov virus. We had started some promising work in promising drugs and promising vaccines against that first SARS. Virus. Some of which may have been enormously helpful these days there is plenty of incentive to both cure and treat covid nineteen, because says even by the time we get a vaccine, we might have much better success at preventing deaths from the virus like HIV. There's no vaccine, but drug development has turned the virus from a fatal condition to a chronic one. Every month we get more data wet drug works, and it's not just the exciting stuff of Heya scientists in the lab came up with this awesome new molecule that nobody ever saw before and radicals the virus on first contact. That's not how it works. Sometimes it's like well a pretty boring old drug. That none of us thought mattered very much. Actually works or the right combination by itself. It's okay, but if you combine a and B, it's really amazing. Those are kind of the they. They don't make sexy headlines. But they're really important. So despite all the very bad headlines, because said he's feeling positive is just the number of shots on goal that we have and for most diseases. Maybe. You develop five drugs or ten drugs in clinical trials. Today we have over three hundred treatments in development for covert of US working in

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