Ex-DARPA chief Regina Dugan, former Illumina CEO Jay Flatley lead $300M Wellcome Trust fund to tackle global health's Sputnik moment
In a locked-down world where vaccines offer the only hope for a way out of the Covid-19 crisis, it’s nearly impossible to imagine if RNA-based platforms — which broke records with a 60-day turnaround from time of sequence to first dosing in humans — aren’t around. But back in 2010, as the head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Regina Dugan had a decision to make.
The idea was tempting. Not only did it map out a way for the body to make the antigen it would then immunize against, it also promised speed, a particularly important attribute when a pandemic strikes. The only issue: The technology had not really been validated.
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