Beyond Biotech podcast 65 – Disease X and pandemic preparedness


Disease X, a concept shrouded in mystery, represents the unknown pathogens that could unleash future epidemics or pandemics. 

In the wake of recent global health crises, our understanding of the profound impact of those pandemics has deepened. 

On this week’s podcast, we have a conversation with Hamilton Bennett, who led Moderna’s mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine development program team to the authorized use and approval of one of the earliest and most effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bennett is Moderna’s senior director of vaccine access and partnerships, and has unparalleled insights into the world of infectious diseases. In the in-depth discussion, Bennett talks about the origins of Disease X, the role of mRNA technology in tackling pandemics, and the importance of preparedness.

Disease X was intended to be a placeholder name; it was adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2018 on their shortlist of blueprint priority diseases to represent a hypothetical, unknown pathogen that could cause a future epidemic.

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