Tag: vaccine

09
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Moderna Doesn’t Plan To Enforce Coronavirus Vaccine Patents During Pandemic

Drugmakers live and die by the exclusivity provided by patents on their medications. Generic competition or even a branded competitor can substantially cut a company’s market share. But Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) is putting society ahead of its bottom line. The biotech announced on Thursday that it won’t enforce patents for its coronavirus vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company noted: “We feel a special obligation under the current circumstances to use our resources to bring this pandemic to an end as quickly as possible. Accordingly, while the pandemic continues, Moderna will not enforce our COVID-19 related patents against those making vaccines intended to combat the pandemic.”

Moderna has patents on its base technology, which allows for the expression of protein-based vaccines in patients’ cells through the use of mRNA. The company also has patents on the delivery of mRNA-based vaccines using its lipid nanoparticles technology.

Investors shrugged off the announcement, with shares closing up 0.8% for the day. That might be because Moderna is in a no-win situation. If it did actually try to enforce patents to keep other drugmakers from launching competing vaccines, the biotech would be seen as a bully given the unprecedented need. At least by saying it won’t enforce the patents, Moderna gets a public relations boost.

The company could even make a little money off the situation. Moderna said it’s willing to license its intellectual property for coronavirus vaccines in the post-pandemic period. Competitors worried about a patent fight might agree to pay for a license to reduce their risk.

This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool.

Brian Orelli, PhD and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage trials Nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage trials Photo: Russian Direct Investment Fund / Handout

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30
Sep
2020
Posted in software

Salesforce.com adapts its software for pandemic vaccine distribution

(Reuters) – Salesforce.com on Wednesday said it has adapted some of its business software to help healthcare organizations and government entities distribute vaccines for the novel coronavirus once they become available.

The San Francisco-based company said the offering, called Work.com for Vaccines, will help cities, states and health-care groups track vaccine inventory levels, create online appointment portals and track how patients fare after being vaccinated.

Multiple companies and nations around the world are racing to develop a vaccine to provide some degree of immunity to the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. The chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s largest maker of vaccines, on Tuesday said she was optimistic the industry will be able to make vaccine widely available next year.

Salesforce.com’s efforts build on tools rolled out in May aimed at modifying the company’s business software to help governments make re-opening decisions based on public health data and carry out contact tracing and other tasks related to the pandemic.

The company said pricing of the new tools will be “based upon the unique requirements of each public agency or private healthcare organization.”

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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29
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

How Pinterest beat back vaccine misinformation

The battle over misinformation amid the COVID-19 pandemic has pitted health experts, parts of the public, and the leaders of online platforms against one another.

So far, one social media giant seems to be winning the fight against falsehoods: Pinterest.

The company, which made a name for itself as an idea collection platform for everything from clothing trends to healthy recipes, has taken a hardline strategy against health misinformation, and in particular, vaccine falsehoods. Pinterest has a zero-tolerance vaccine misinformation policy, a team tasked with enforcing it, and a flexible approach that accounts for emerging intel from health authorities.

Pinterest’s strategy appears to run in stark contrast to that of Facebook, which has seen misinformation run rampant. Facebook, which has frequently cited free speech as a reason for leaving potentially harmful posts untouched, has drawn criticism from health experts who say the social network hasn’t done enough to combat it. Some experts say it could stand to take a page from Pinterest.

“Pinterest’s results suggest that if Facebook scaled up its moderation, it might get further,” said Neil Johnson, professor of physics and researcher at the Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics at George Washington University.

The crux of Pinterest’s anti-misinformation arsenal is its mission statement: Inspire people to do the things they love. Unlike Facebook, which is centered around connection — negative or positive — Pinterest has a narrower, more positivity-minded focus. The company’s emphasis on fostering inspiration carries over to its misinformation policies.

“There’s nothing inspiring about harmful misinformation that might affect your health or your family’s health or your community’s health,” said Sarah Bromma, the company’s head of policy.

The strategy isn’t perfect, of course. There’s still an abundance of “pin” collections that encourage non-evidence-based