With approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine last week for emergency use, many of us are looking forward to getting vaccinated with the hope that it will help us return to a more normal life. While looking forward, this is also a good time to reflect on the decades of work that laid the groundwork for this lightning fast vaccine development effort, as the first article in our roundup does.
Additionally, we look at the types of companies that will be attractive M&A targets in the coming quarters and years, consider the continued exposure to cyberattacks for life sciences companies, and see another example of a company looking to move from injections to pills.
Each week, we highlight five things you need to know about in the life sciences industry. Here’s the latest.
mRNA vaccines have only been in the public eye for a few months – but the road to this point was long
This year, we have seen a tremendous sprint in vaccine development and trials for a disease that wasn’t even known at this point last year. We have seen the hope that these accomplishments have brought to the whole world. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the years of quiet toil in the lab, the setbacks, and the stories of the people in the life sciences industry that made this possible.
Moderna and BioNTech, for instance, started long ago down the path that made their recent COVID-19 vaccine achievements possible, and their work built on decades of scientific research around the possibilities of mRNA. The STAT article above tells the story.
The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are both mRNA-based, but there are important differences
Sometime in the coming year, Americans will line up and get a shot in the arm with a COVID-19 vaccine. For most of us, it really won’t matter which of the vaccines we get; we will just be relieved to finally be getting one. For the life sciences industry, it is helpful to understand the similarities and differences and how those differences will impact production and distribution. This piece takes a look at those distinctions.
A glimpse at future medical device and medtech M&A targets
Fierce Biotech released a list of its top medtech M&A targets this week, and it is worth a read. The specific companies highlighted are interesting on their own, with their work in creating new sensors, deploying artificial intelligence in new ways, and leveraging the cloud to bring treatment to patients wherever they are. But these companies are also noteworthy because of their implications for other businesses, especially in the broader tech space.
Cyber risks grow with the industry’s increasing visibility
The critical work life sciences companies have done this year has raised the industry’s profile, and many benefits have accompanied that increased awareness. Unfortunately, such high-profile work continues to attract threat actors as well. 2021 looks to be the year when many life sciences companies will be forced to take cybersecurity more seriously, this article explains.
Myovant hopes to move beyond needles in treatments for prostate cancer
Last week, the FDA approved Myovant’s Orgovyx as an oral treatment for prostate cancer, a big advancement in treatments for the disease. Whereas existing treatments require injections or implants, patients can take this new therapy orally at home. Not only does this make the treatment more convenient, it’s a welcome change for those who prefer pills over needles. It also allows cancer patients with suppressed immune systems to avoid additional trips to clinics, which is a benefit in both pandemic years and normal years.