COVID-19 vaccine research is on at full swing, and in recent developments, Cloud giant AWS announced that it would be the preferred Cloud computing provider for biotech major Moderna Inc. Not just Cloud computing, but Moderna will partner with AWS for analytics and Machine Learning (ML) workloads as well.
Countries all over the world are struggling with COVID-19, and general life has been thrown in disarray all over. Amid all this, pharma and biotech giants across the globe are steadfastly committed to finding a vaccine for COVID-19 at the earliest. Tech and Cloud companies have also significantly contributed to the cause with several initiatives such as exposure notification systems and forecasting models.
Moderna’s ‘mRNA-1273’ vaccine has already entered phase-3 trials in the US, wherein it will be tried on 30,000 adult volunteers. The biotech major is a pioneer in the field of mRNA (messenger RNA) medicines. It is only natural that it would go for partnership with industry-leader when it came to cloud computing.
However, the partnership between the two firms goes long back. Moderna’s proprietary technologies run on AWS to create mRNA constructs, empowering rapid experiments without the need for investment in new technology. The biotech company also runs its Drug Design Studio on AWS’s highly scalable compute and storage infrastructure. It speeds up the design process of mRNA sequences for protein targets. This proves essential in conducting expedited real-world tests.
Further, Moderna also uses Amazon Redshift to aggregate results from various experiments running simultaneously. Moderna’s aforementioned proprietary technology to create mRNA constructs has been designed to run on AWS. It is the same technology that has allowed the firm to significantly expedite its research into the development of COVID-19 vaccine. AWS also partners with Moderna in automated production as the Seattle firm provides IoT services to link various systems involved in the manufacturing process.
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Here’s what Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel stated:
Matt Garman, the VP of Sales and Marketing at AWS, also spoke about the partnership, “running on AWS, Moderna has the agility to continuously refine its research, development, and manufacturing. Moderna is relying on the proven performance and scale of the world’s leading cloud to innovate and develop drug and vaccine candidates on timelines that may have been impossible even just a few years ago.”
COVID-19 Vaccine’s Development Status
As already stated, the Cambridge biotech giant Moderna has sent the first clinical batch of its vaccine to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The trial for the mRNA-1273 vaccine will be conducted on 30,000 adult volunteers not infected with COVID-19. The vaccine was delivered to NIH for Phase I trials 42 days after the initial sequencing of the virus was complete. Moderna has stated that it hopes to release data of the human trials of the vaccine in public as early as October 2020.