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Bill Gates Looks to Immunotherapy to Help Control All Infectious Diseases

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-01-12 12:03:09

Bill Gates gave an address [] at J.P. Morgan's 36th Annual Healthcare Conference in San Francisco:

[There] is reason to hope that the insights uncovered in ongoing immunotherapy research for cancer will eventually help us control all infectious diseases. This would be a huge victory for humanity—and potentially a significant market for the life sciences.

Others seem to think so too. Venture capitalists like Bob Nelsen and Bob More have helped raise over $500 million for VIR Biotechnology—including funding from us—to discover and develop treatments for serious infectious diseases.

We are also investors in Immunocore, which is using T-cell technology to help stimulate the body's immune system. Initially, Immunocore's "T-cell receptor" technology targeted cancers, but it could also be applied against infectious diseases.

We are backing companies like CureVac and Moderna on mRNA approaches for vaccine and drug development, which have the potential to help us tackle cancer. This approach is also intriguing as a potential immunological intervention for HIV, malaria, flu and the Zika virus.

And mRNA vaccines are likely to be cheaper, easier, and faster to make than traditional vaccines. This would be particularly helpful in containing epidemics—whether they occur through nature or are the result of an intentional biological attack. Today, it typically takes up to 10 years to develop and license a new vaccine. To significantly curb deaths from a fast-moving airborne pathogen, we would have to get that down considerably—to 90 days or less.

Also at NBF [].

Related: Bill Gates Commits $100 Million to Alzheimer's Research []

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