Opinion: STAT+: Building a better on-ramp for health innovation

The pandemic crisis has illuminated a stark reality that innovators, particularly those in biotech, have long been aware of: The world is filled with great ideas that don’t have the impact they might because how to develop and scale them isn’t considered until it is either absolutely essential — or too late — to do so.

The mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 represent a perfect example of this principle. While the technology behind mRNA vaccines was developed more than 40 years ago, it took the emergency of a global pandemic for researchers to receive the support needed to bring their concept through Food and Drug Administration authorization and approval and to market. Imagine how many people might have benefited from this technology — how many lives might have been saved — had it been developed and applied earlier.

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