Moderna’s mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, shown to be over 94% effective after two doses and able to be stored in a regular fridge or freezer, became the second of its kind to get FDA authorization.
The response to COVID-19 took center stage this year, spurring biotech companies on our list to develop tests and vaccines in record time. AI for drug discovery, single-cell genomics, RNA-based drugs, and bio-based manufacturing were other hot areas for innovation—continuing the meld of natural biology and cutting-edge innovation.
For being first to market with an effective COVID-19 vaccine
Even without help from Operation Warp Speed, New-York-headquartered drug maker Pfizer and German manufacturing partner BioNTech managed to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine in record time, getting FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and distributing millions of doses less than a year after the genetic sequence of COVID-19 was first obtained. The first mRNA vaccine approved for any disease, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective after two doses in trials.