How does Big Pharma develop vaccines?

Many years ago, I invested a little bit of money in an innovative company, Shaman Pharmaceuticals.

I’ll let you do the Googling because I still find it painful Shaman had to close down and abandon its way of discovering new drugs. I lost all my money but mostly I lost the sense of romance Shaman offered me. Even the annual shareholder meeting I attended was romantic. How many companies feature ethnobiologists at annual meetings and talk about, name and show photos of the tribal shamen who are their partners in discovery?

It was during my time as a shareholder I learned how Big Pharma, as opposed to Very Very Small and Personal Pharma, developed new drugs: they experimented with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of known substances to see if they could successfully battle a particular group of cells. (I think they call this “hitting” but I may be wrong about that. Update: after listening to Anthony Fauci last night when he was on with Rachel Maddow, I can modify the “hitting” business: when the effort is a success, it’s called a hit.)

It’s why the development of most new drugs is so fucking expensive. Big Pharmas throw everything, one at a time, at some bad cells to see if something good happens, i.e., the bad cells die or become seriously morbid. Usually nothing happens.

So I wasn’t surprised to read, in Harper’s June 2020 Findings, some of the substances and test subjects involved in developing a COVID-19 vaccine.

I’m going to excerpt, primarily because I don’t think my fingers have the stamina to type words like acyclovir, darunavir, favipiravir, et cetera vir, without typos.

It begins:

Researchers determined that the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged from horseshoe bats rather than a biowarfare lab, and generally agreed that pangolins, rather than snakes, were the likely intermediary carriers, although some support was voiced for turtles…A Walloon housecat, Wuhan stray and hospital cats, two Hong Kong dogs, deliberately infected ferrets, and tigers and lions in the Bronx Zoo all tested positive for COVID-19, but screening of more than four thousand other canine, equine, and feline samples produced no positive results…

Just want to point out the phrase “screening of more than four thousand other…samples…” Four thousand animal samples.

Then we get a paragraph that begins:

Vaccine researchers investigated…[a whole heap of other vaccines, proteins, antibodies and drugs — the ones I don’t feel competent to type accurately, until I get to the end of that paragraph here ⇒]...vitamin C, hydrogen peroxide, nitric oxide, Viagra, fingolimod, thalidomide, leflunomide, meropenem, pirfenidone, tissue plasminogen activators, tranilast, probiotics, intestinal flora, convalescent plasma, hyperimmune plasma, nebulized amniotic fluid, umbilical stem cells, Wharton’s jelly, dental-pulp stem cells, menstrual-blood stem cells, goat horn, and bear bile.

Re goat horns: I’ve watched a lot of animals be de-horned by The Yorkshire Vet[s], Julian and Peter, and can report what they tell the audience, i.e., me: it doesn’t hurt the animals at all. I can verify that. No goat or calf having its horns removed squirms or yowls. They get local anesthetic and just hang out peacefully while the job is done.

So we can all be assured when we get those precious injections that no expense, no physical element, no drop of menstrual blood, no yuch of dental pulp, was spared in developing that liquid gold being shot into our arms, and no animal was harmed in the process.

Although I don’t know whose Viagra was used or how they got the bear bile.

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