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Startup with significant ties to US intelligence and regulatory agencies to manufacture new mRNA vaccines

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Moshe Tokayer


Moshe Tokayer

Contributing Editor

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Sun, Aug 21, 2022


00:43 AM

Original website offered 'broad mix of customized manufacturing and development capabilities' . . . including 'viruses for use in vaccine development and gene-edited viruses for unspecified purposes'

Startup with significant ties to US intelligence and regulatory agencies to manufacture new mRNA vaccines

Historically, vaccines take 10-15 years to develop.  The COVID-19 vaccines were developed in less than a year.  The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responsible for licensing vaccines approved the COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use (EUA). 

It is worth noting that this was the first time since the enactment of EUA in the early 2000s that it was used to approve a new vaccine.  Not only are the COVID-19 vaccines new, they are brand-new technologies, never before used on humans.  There were doctors who were skeptical.  They claimed that vaccine development cycles cannot be shortened no matter how much money is thrown at it.  They were concerned that long term effects would not appear in the 3-6 months of the clinical trials.  

These doctors were silenced, suppressed and harassed.  Some lost their medical licenses.

Since the FDA’s initial approvals for adults at risk, every approval for every age group has been under the EUA.  Doctors have said that there is no emergency for children whose risk of serious illness from COVID-19 approaches zero.  Healthy children have not died from COVID-19.  Still, the FDA approved vaccines for the youngest age groups for emergency use.

For the first 15 years that the EUA existed, it was used cautiously and sparingly.  However, since 2020 the FDA has issued over 400 COVID-19 EUAs, most notably for brand new never-before-tested vaccine technologies. 

Now, a new company called National Resilience is making it even easier to get new mRNA vaccines to market more quickly. Resilience bills itself as a biomanufacturing company.  If you have a new mRNA vaccine you want manufactured, Resilience will do it for you.

Resilience seemingly sprang out of nowhere.  Founded in November 2020 with $800 million in funding, the company just announced a deal with Moderna to produce its newest mRNA vaccine that combines the original with new mRNA focused on the latest Omicron variant. 

The Canadian government has recently agreed to invest $164 million in the company.  The money will be used to expand its newly acquired Ontario facility where it will be manufacturing the Moderna vaccine. 

How does a start up with precious little track record get VCs and governments to fork over lots of money?  

In a well-researched investigative article, Whitney Webb shows the company’s board members’ connections with “the US National Security State, Big Pharma and Pharma-related ‘philanthropy’.”

The company was founded with the help of Bob Nelson who is Chairman of the Board.  He claims he got the idea for a biomanufacturing platform from Luciana Bori who is a partner in Nelson’s VC firm Arch.  Bori was vice-president of In-Q-Tel until 2021.  In-Q-Tel is “the venture capital arm of the CIA that has been used since its creation in the early 2000s to found a number of companies, many of which act as Agency fronts. Prior to In-Q-Tel, she served as director for medical and biodefense preparedness at the National Security Council.”  She is also currently a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

In-Q-Tel CEO “Chris Darby sits on the company’s board of directors. . . . Darby was also recently a member of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), where members of the military, intelligence community and Silicon Valley’s top firms argued for the need to reduce the use of ‘legacy systems’ in favor of AI-focused alternatives as a national security imperative. Among those ‘legacy systems’ identified by the NSCAI were in-person doctor visits and even receiving medical care from a human doctor, as opposed to an AI ‘doctor’. The NSCAI also argued for the removal of ‘regulatory barriers’ that prevent these new technologies from replacing ‘legacy systems’.

According to Webb, “Another notable board member, in discussing Resilience’s intelligence ties, is Drew Oetting. Oetting works for Cerberus Capital Management, the firm headed by Steve Feinberg who previously led the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board under the Trump administration.”

“In addition to these intelligence-linked individuals, the rest of Resilience’s board includes the former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Susan Desmond-Hellmann, former FDA Commissioner and Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb, two former executives at Johnson & Johnson, former president and CEO of Teva Pharmaceuticals North American branch, George Barrett, CalTech professor and board member of Alphabet (i.e. Google) and Illumina Frances Arnold, former executive at Genentech and Merck, Patrick Yang,and Resilience CEO Rahul Singhvi.”

Resilience will offer customized and scalable processes, short lead times, the highest quality and regulatory capabilities . . .”  “Short lead time” and “regulatory capabilities” does not sound like the tried-and-true cautious approach to developing vaccines.  It sounds a lot more like the way COVID-19 vaccines were brought to market.  Given the regulatory bigwigs who sit on the company’s board, the company sounds poised to deliver on these claims.

To put it plainly, the future of vaccine development will be to bypass regulatory barriers to bring new vaccines to market as quickly as possible.  As reported in the San Francisco Business Times, “The leaders of this startup . . . believe they can spearhead manufacturing changes that will deliver cutting-edge cell, gene and RNA-based therapies faster and cheaper, making those more accessible to more patients.” (Emphasis added)

 it is clear from its strong representation on the company's board of directors that the intelligence community has a keen interest in bio-manufacturing new mRNA vaccines.  The unanswered million dollar question is why.

Here is a clue.  The original website offered “a broad mix of customized manufacturing and development capabilities”. These included, virus production including viral vectors, vaccines and gene editing.  In discussing this Webb states that Resilience is offering the production of “viruses for use in vaccine development and gene-edited viruses for unspecified purposes. It is worth noting that, to date, many controversial ‘gain-of-function’ experiments have justified modifying viruses for the same purposes as described by National Resilience’s Virus Production capabilities.” (Emphasis added)

Virus production has since been removed from Resilience's website.  

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