May 2020 with Nathan and Laura: Vaccine News, Notre Dame Argument, COVID Genetic Targets

Happy summertime! We had positive news this month about an mRNA vaccine from Moderna. We also saw how during a pandemic, the process of science is especially abnormal. Nathan says let's be happy about the good news. Laura's ringing with alarm bells, sensing conflicts of interest right and left.

It's Nathan's alarm bells that go off when we consider an OpEd from the president of Notre Dame University making the argument for opening up in the fall--that science alone cannot provide the answer. Nathan says it's just self serving, tired, old science bashing from the religious. Theral defends the argument, and Laura comes down somewhere in between.

None disagree with the Lancet's lambasting of the Trump Administration, a rare piece by a scientific journal.

We finish up with some work by Nathan and his colleagues looking for genetic targets for COVID. Could there even be something for DTC testing related to COVID-19? Nathan also shares how the virus has gotten personal for him and reminds us that the numbers we see each day are persons, people's loved ones.

Take care everyone. Our review show is off for the summer break.

The Current State of Coronavirus Vaccines with Jeff Stein, Cidara Therapeutics

What is the key to getting a coronavirus vaccine? “Manufacturing,” says today’s guest, Jeff Stein of Cidara Therapeutics.

Jeff joined us just last fall to talk about his company’s exciting new technology, an immunotherapy, that is a universal flu preventative and therapy. Yes, you read that right. A universal flu preventative.

So we were eager to have Jeff on the podcast again and ask the burning $64 million question: Will Cidara’s technology work on the coronavirus? Indeed, it will. Jeff says the company has a clinical development candidate, CD377, which will work on all members of the coronavirus family.

While Jeff is here, he gives an update on the various vaccine programs going on around the world, including the mRNA product we all heard about this week from Moderna Therapeutics.

Is Jeff as optimistic as President Trump about having a vaccine by end of year?

“It’s possible, but not probable.”