We had a discussion earlier whether Warp Speed was important for vaccine succes. Hard to argue alternative history. Now, Curevac vaccine is in the news and provides an answer: it seems to be another German pioneer company that was looking at RNA vaccines 7-10 years before BionTech Moderna. They are finishing Phase 3 in Mid-May, 6 months behind others. Here are events according to the NYT service article:
– they first got … $15 mln of funding .. considerable amount of cash was not there.
– March 2020: Trump tries to pay them $1 BLN. CEO resigns … (sounds like he was interested)
– June 2020: Germany invests $360 mln (3x less of Trump’s initial offer)
note that German government already knew amount of investment in US and Phizer/Moderan already starting phase 3
– Dec 2020: starts Phase 3 trial …
It is clear from this narrative that American business approach mattered, we can’t fully differentiate between role of warp speed, general R&D approach, business initiative, presumably each played a role.
Of course, Biden administration found their “niche” – rather than assisting those great companies, taking their IP by force and give it away. Praying that this will produce good results.
Maybe it is mida k’neged mida for Pfizer CEO for, possibly, delyaing phase 3 results until after the elections. Thought he was smart, but Biden is smarter!