04/06/2021 (Tue) 15:07:37
In early January 2020, the plan changed. Bancel read about a new virus emerging in China and quickly emailed the NIH. Within a few days, the genetic sequence of the virus was available online. Instead of running a test, Moderna now faced an urgent real-world challenge to develop a vaccine that might potentially save millions of lives.
As soon as the genetic sequence was posted, the Moderna team went to work. “Using software, our team designed a vaccine in just two days,” says Bancel. “And we never had a physical sample of the virus. We saw the genetic sequence online and designed the vaccine entirely with a computer.”
As the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic, Moderna worked to produce the first doses of the experimental vaccine. Within 42 days, the vaccine was ready, and the company could begin the rigorous clinical trials that all experimental vaccines are required to undergo.
“In the past, it might have taken 20 months to design and produce a vaccine,” says Bancel. “But we went from 20 months to 2 for the first dose because we moved from a hardware world to a software world in biology.” https://www.vmware.com/content/microsites/possible/stories/moderna.html