COVID-19 R&D ecosystem
Discovering and developing a new drug/vaccine is a risky, costly and long-term endeavour. Generally, pharmaceutical companies need to invest around USD 3 billion and up to 14 years per new drug.
In January 2020, a new and threatening disease, COVID-19, emerged and SARS-CoV2 was identified as the originator of a later emerging global pandemic. By today, around 88 million people have been detected to be infected by SARS-CoV2 and around 1.9 million people died in course of a COVID-19 disease so far. Very early in the pandemic, politicians and scientists promised that a vaccine might be available by end of 2020. In parallel, numerous initiatives were started to repurpose existing drugs or to use existing drug candidates for the development of a COVID-19 treatment under the FDAs Emergency Use Authorization. At once, governments, the WHO and non-for-profit organizations started to actively support and/or control the timely provision of a COVID-19 treatment and various unnormal initiatives were started, such as a major investment of the German government in Curevac. By today, two vaccines BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) have been approved in the US and EU and other projects are in the final process of vaccine/drug approval.
Scope of the thesis:
In your project and based on a previous work, you will systematically analyse the R&D ecosystems of BioNTech, Moderna and other key players in the COVID-19 combat. Your work involves but is not limited to the analysis and evaluation of business models, technologies, products, services, and collaborations to answer the question of why is it possible to discover and develop a new drug in 1 year while the process usually takes more than 10 years.
• Theoretical background of the pharma business
• Organized, conscientious and result-oriented working attitude
• Very good communication and written skills in English