Long ago, I posted that I thought NVAX needed to find a partner in the way that BNTX did with PFE.. It never happened... Stan has always seemed to be a willing 'go it alone' guy.
From the very beginning, BNTX knew that they would need a partner to do what they've done with the mRNA concept they had developing and the acted like they knew it. They weren't arrogant about it, in fact even before COVID, they had a relationship with Pfizer dating back to 2018 around the potential of an influenza vaccine. Covid happened, they created a vaccine (without Pfizer knowing they were doing it) and they 'activated' that relationship to get it funded. The BIG relationship grew out of what already existed pre-covid.
That's the primary problem with NVAX... They have NEVER had management that seemed as willing to pursue partnerships as they were willing to go it alone. And if they were, they obviously weren't successful.
Looking back several years to the early RSV days, the Ebola days, MERS days, even with Flu, how many times did we hear Stan say something like, 'of course we're talking with others about partnerships...' But it NEVER happened!
Whereas at NVAX, the top management has never been the SCIENTISTS... Glenn is a major part of it now, but my perception is that while they were going through the trials and tribulations of the past several years, he was 'the science guy' who needed to let the 'management guys' do their thing.
I wonder how much insight he actually had into if/how/at what pace any partnership discussions were actually ever happening between upper management and Big Pharma. Were they really happening? What were the breakdowns? What were the asks/gives? We'll never know... we only know one thing... 'We can go it alone if we need to.'
So, as I often said years ago, 'as always, time will tell'. That's truer now than ever because, well, NVAX has gone too far down the road of trying to become a big pharma on their own and they're probably too big now for anyone to consider a partnership with, at least that's my thought.
So, therein lies the difference....
1 company with a new technology, KNEW they needed a partner to make things happen from a manufacturing, networking, and political perspective. They made it happen
1 company with a proven technology but just not enough infrastructure or political connections went to a meeting and were told point blank by the POTUS, something like, 'sounds like you need to partner up with one of these big guys'. (Correct me if I'm wrong on the recall there... not word for word, but I believe that was the sentiment.)
What we don't know is if they actually TRIED to create a partnership or if those bridges had been abandoned by one side or the other.
All in all, we're now stuck at the question...
Will the 'we can do it alone' focus win out over time?
Can they ultimately end up successful? ABSOLUTELY they can... but in my opinion, the way they've gone about this from a management perspective is absolutely why they have been left further behind the lead runners at every mile marker along the way.
As always, time will tell. Those are my thoughts... yours??
FWIW, I shared this link to Business Wars yesterday... their series on Vaccine Wars (5 episodes now published) is far more about how the business relationships developed between MRNA, BNTX, PFE, AZN, Oxford, JnJ, and the US Government than it is about the science, but it covers the science a bit, too... including the early days of mRNA development back to the mid 1990s. It's nearly 2.5 hours of content for all 5 episodes but if you're a geek about this type of stuff like I am, you'll appreciate it, even if it does frustrate you to no end that NVAX isn't mentioned once.
And on we go... let's see what happens today.