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What the COVID-19 Vaccine Teaches Us About Research

March 06, 2020

Only 42 days after the genetic sequencing of the COVID-19 virus, Moderna Therapeutics, a biotech company based in Cambridge, Mass. shipped the first batches of the COVID-19 vaccine. The fast turnaround of a vaccine in the face of Coronavirus becoming a global pandemic demonstrated how technology is accelerating scientific innovation. 
The reason that Moderna Therapeutics was able to develop the vaccine is because their approach is markedly different than other companies. Using a new genetic method, they did not have to grow large amounts of virus in order to study it. The vaccine is formulated with mRNA that codes for the right Coronavirus proteins to be introduced into the body. Lymph nodes then start to make the protein in such a way that immunity cells can mark them for destruction. This is the new frontier of drug therapy - unleashing the power of the body’s natural defenses to fight off disease. 
When we think of scientific research, we often think of large teams of scientists across many different countries and research institutions collaborating on different points of a project to make new discoveries. The reality is that the larger the team, the more difficult it is to manage the process. Funding for these projects often comes from a variety of sources, which means researchers also need to fundraise while they work. 
In this case, as the Coronavirus spread, many biotech companies were trying different methods to come up with a vaccine from their existing research. Moderna Therapeutics’ innovative genetic technique proved to be the most effective. As research teams become more fragmented - as is the case in the pharmaceutical industry - and larger scientific teams at universities request funding for multi-disciplinary projects, there is a growing need for seamless, connected methods for collaborative discovery. 
Scientific research is no longer a compartmentalized effort around one specific disease, or even one specific way of thinking. It is a fluid exercise of continually discovering whether new efforts and new approaches work for a particular treatment. 
Research Tools That Empower Researchers
ResoluteAI’s Foundation product is a research tool that empowers researchers. It gives a team that might be conducting research in a narrow area the ability to see the bigger picture of possible applications across disciplines, unveiling new applications for existing research. 
In the area of immunology, there are many different techniques used to harness the body’s natural defenses. Learning about different pathways and treatments for different diseases can inspire the imaginations of the researchers. 
Over the past five years, there has been an increase in technology transfer opportunities in the area of immunology, as well as companies that are engaged in this research.
All of these tech transfer opportunities span different areas of research in biology, chemistry, material science, and energy. 
In the area of medicine, immunology technology transfer opportunities can have applications for treatments in oncology, neurology, hematology, infectious diseases, and much more. 
By understanding the connections between these technology transfer opportunities and discovering the applications across the full spectrum of diseases, scientists can work to collaborate with teams outside of their specific research areas and share information that is critical to continued innovation. ResoluteAI’s Foundation platform is the only research tool that uses the power of artificial intelligence to unleash researchers’ creativity, helping them to make groundbreaking discoveries. 


ResoluteAI is the research platform for science. Foundation lets commercial science enterprises search aggregated scientific, regulatory, and business databases simultaneously. Nebula is our enterprise search tool for science. Combined with our interactive analytics and downloadable visualizations, ResoluteAI helps make connections that lead to breakthrough discoveries. Used in R&D, medical affairs, post market surveillance, and pharmacovigilance by scientific organizations around the world, ResoluteAI won the BCS Search Industry Award for Most Promising Start-Up in 2021.