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World leaders have set ambitious goals to respond more swiftly to the next pandemic, including the US goal to design, test, and review a new vaccine just 100 days after a pandemic declaration.
Following up a Washington D.C. event in early May, members of the Alliance for mRNA Medicine (AMM) gathered around the BIO conference in Boston to toast to the good health of the alliance itself, and also for the myriad new therapeutic possibilities in areas as diverse as oncology, neurology, cardiology and infectious diseases more broadly. World leaders have set ambitious goals to respond more swiftly to the next pandemic, including the US goal to design, test, and review a new vaccine just 100 days after a pandemic declaration. Further, the US hopes to produce enough vaccines for the US and the world in 130 and 200 days. Past preparedness efforts have focused on innovation and reliability—culminating in the novel mRNA vaccines. Today, it’s important to consider diverse responses—and how we can make the investments we make today sustainable and “ready” for when an emergency happens. But while the last pandemic helped usher in this new era of commercial scale mRNA platforms, AMM itself rests solidly upon four principle pillars.
The next step for the Alliance is to engage with regulators and lawmakers at a congressional briefing planed for mid-September on capital hill. In terms of policy AMM advisors will engage with governments, policymakers, regulators and other stakeholders in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific (according to its website) “…to advocate for policies that encourage innovation, define regulatory standards, support manufacturing and promote access of mRNA medicines to patients.” (1)
Regarding their plans to advance knowledge, AMM “plans to bring the best minds together to overcome the most critical obstacles inhibiting the advancement of mRNA research, development and manufacturing. Furthermore, AMM will forge inclusive and collaborative partnerships with other networking forums to co-publish, augment or improve upon technical and scientific content generated by these groups.”
One of the initial council members, Baley Reeves, Interim Director at the National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing, Texas A&M University, stresses that"In order to support the development and manufacturing of mRNA vaccines and medicines, a skilled workforce is critical component of the overall ecosystem. The lack of a pipeline of workers trained in the specific processes required for mRNA manufacturing is a major bottleneck for the field." The rapid evolution of mRNA medicines since the inception of the COVID vaccine has created a need to (1) elevate the understanding and perception of mRNA medicines to the general public and (2) develop and expand the pool of mRNA talent in the industry. From their website, AMM states it “will champion causes and projects to educate the community on the potential of mRNA technologies to improve the human condition and collaborate with institutions to uplevel and standardize the education of mRNA scientists and to retain them in the field.”
And as their last pillar, “AMM will serve as the leading convenor of mRNA stakeholders, bringing together innovators in the field to propel the future of mRNA medicine and advance scientific knowledge.”
Its an ambitious set of goals for sure, but amongst their number AMM already boasts of multiple scientific society, pharmaceutical and regenerative medicine global bodies and organizations. Combined, they have the talent and experience to navigate successfully toward not only their next goal (an early November full launch in Berlin) but also the goal of effecting positive acceleration of multiple medicines well beyond their initial vaccine starting point.
1. Alliance for mRNA Medicines. Accessed June 12, 2023.