Elegant but unproven, RNA experiments leap to the front in coronavirus vaccine race. Will they work?
But almost overnight, these cutting-edge RNA vaccine efforts have leaped forward as top candidates to fight covid-19. Some developers plan to have tens of millions of doses ready by the end of the year.
Elegant in theory, efficacious in the laboratory but untested in the real world, the possible RNA vaccines are especially attractive because they might be cheaper, easier and faster to manufacture on a massive scale — at least one team boasts it could partner with producers in developing countries to provide millions of vials for as little as $5 a pop.
More than 150 possible vaccines are now being developed by multinational pharmaceutical companies, academic groups and government laboratories around the world, many employing traditional protocols used to make flu and other vaccines for decades.
The RNA group has been among the first out of the gate because they can be rapidly designed on computers, using just the genetic sequence of the coronavirus that was shared online in early January.
[Source: Washington Post]