Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told CNBC that his company began working on the Covid-19 vaccine before the virus was officially named. As part of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) “State of the Pandemic” panel, Bancel said, “When the [COVID] pandemic happened, Moderna had made a hundred thousand doses in 2019 for the whole year. And I remember walking after those into the office of my other manufacturing and I say, ‘How we make [sic] a billion dollars next year?’ And they look at me a bit funny and say, ‘What?’ And I say, ‘Yeah, we need to make a billion dollars next year, there’s going to be a pandemic.'”
From The National Pulse:
According to this version of events, Bancel only found out about the new virus—which might be a coronavirus—in January 2020. Yet by his own account at Davos, Bancel knew there would be a lucrative pandemic, early on. Boston Magazine also said Moderna was about to announce it would be making an mRNA vaccine when Bancel found out about the new coronavirus, and that Moderna began planning to make a COVID vaccine almost right away.