Bennett was no stranger to working at breakneck speed. For one thing, because mRNA vaccines dont contain a pathogen, they are thought to be safer than traditional vaccines. A major advantage of mRNA is that it is very easy to manufacture these RNA sequences once researchers know the sequence of the viral protein they want to target. Andreswho was expecting something more along the lines of, Do you want lettuce and tomato on that?was taken aback. It should be done today.. The area quickly became a destination for sightseers eager to leave behind the bustle of the city. Bennett argued to go for the real vaccine. At 47 years old, his dark hair was thinning but his French accent was as thick as it had been nearly a decade earlier, when he mystified his colleagues by leaving a plum CEO job at a French multinational diagnostics company and moving to Boston to run Modernaat the time a positively tiny Kendall Square biotech that was still operating in stealth mode. The potential implications of using mRNA as a drug are significant and far-reaching and could meaningfully improve how medicines are discovered, developed and manufactured. Thats when he realized: Everyone was following the projects progress. It was showtime. Hamilton Bennett's Professional Contact Details, Hamilton Bennett's Current Company Details, Hamilton Bennett's Work History and Education, Frequently Asked Questions about Hamilton Bennett. Copyright 2023 ABC News Internet Ventures. Still, that was no guarantee hed get a response on a Saturday from a pharma exec. Haller quickly filled out the questionnaire and crossed her fingers. Several days later, on a moonlit Friday night, Bancel wheeled his suitcase into Terminal D at Logan Airport and checked into a red-eye bound for Zurich. This happened so many times that she eventually ditched the software altogether. As fast as they were working in Modernas state-of-the-art Norwood plant, everyone wanted to move faster. Moderna, Inc., will provide the data . This is a great opportunity to go mano a mano with Moderna, he told a reporter from Science magazine. Safe and effective vaccines are now available, including Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) that showed 94% efficacy in prevention of symptomatic COVID-19 disease in a phase 3 clinical study. Bennett went back into the software and updated everyones timeline. 1201 New York Avenue NW, Suite 1300, Washington, DC, 20005 202-962-9200, BIO Intellectual Property Counsels Committee Conference. Chemicals sit inside a refrigerator at the Moderna Therapeutics Inc. lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Nov. 14, 2017. "Every day we just accelerated that timeline faster and faster. At first, some committee members urged caution. Then you wait for the animal data before you manufacture a vaccine for human trials. At the time, 35-year-old Hamilton Bennett, the senior director of vaccine access and partnerships at Moderna, a small, then-relatively unknown biotech company based in Cambridge,. "I think I emailed my team every six hours, Saturday, Sunday saying, 'Have you designed the vaccine sequence yet?'" This vaccine process needs to happen soon, she told herself. Vaccines & Biodefense. As they ironed out the details of their partnership, public health officials delivered sobering news to the American public: Illinois had logged the United States first recorded case of community transmission. And if we don't do it, maybe no one else will," Bennett said, while recalling her reasoning at the time. "We've come a long way in 12 months," Bennett told ABC News in an exclusive interview for "The Shot: Race for the Vaccine," a one-hour special edition of "20/20.". In January, with exponential growth in infection rates in the city of Wuhan, China, and increasing evidence of high community transmission, Moderna's leadership acknowledged that the outbreak was a serious threat and asked Bennett to begin working on a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as the new virus's genome sequence was obtained. Meanwhile, as Chinese officials assured the world that the outbreak wouldnt be as bad as SARS, a 2003 coronavirus that sickened 8,100 people and killed 774, Bancel was hearing a far darker version of the future. Even as Moderna announced a 10-year agreement with Swiss drugmaker Lonza to produce a billion doses a year, Bancel emphasized that no one company can supply the entire planet. The same day, the sober-faced director-general of the World Health Organization faced the media and uttered the words no one wanted to hear: COVID-19 was officially a global pandemic. We will show you what we can do.. A pharmacist gives Jennifer Haller, left, the first shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, Monday, March 16, 2020, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. Bancel says he might be ready to submit for FDA approval for the vaccine by years end. All Rights Reserved. FORTUNE is a trademark of Fortune Media IP Limited, registered in the U.S. and other countries. From that point on, every time she received a new, accelerated timeline, shed simply stand up, wipe the old one off the giant whiteboard that extended the length of her desk, and mark the new one down. Since then, Moderna's vaccine has been given to millions of people worldwide. All rights reserved. Despite the risks, Bennett said she felt very strongly that it was the company's moral and social obligation to develop the vaccine and, thus, advocated to push the company to take the gamble. Brooke Bollman, 1 Naveen Nunna, 1 Kapil Bahl, 1 Chiaowen Joyce Hsiao, 1 Hamilton Bennett, 1 Scott Butler, 2 Bryant Foreman, 3 Katherine E. Burgomaster, 3 Maya Aleshnick, 3 Wing-Pui Kong, 4 Brian E. Fisher, 4 Tracy J. Ruckwardt, 4 Kaitlyn M. Morabito, 4 Barney S. Graham, 4 Kimberly A. Dowd, 3 Theodore C . Facing down a pandemic the likes of which the world hadnt seen in a century, Bennett, senior director of vaccine access and partnerships at Moderna, was tasked with developing a COVID vaccine even before the viruss genome had been sequenced. Multilateral Organizations. Each day, as the coronavirus advanced around the globe, the quest for a vaccine took on an even higher level of importance and became a greater sense of pride for workers at the companyeven for some far away from the manufacturing room floor. Health equality in access to medicines and ensuring diversity in clinical trials. Moderna's phase 1 study had been initially expected to begin in late April, but acknowledging the urgency of the situation, Bennett's team pushed the timeline forward. Not so long ago, one of Modernas products was left outside of cold storage once it was no longer in the companys hands, and the entire load had to be tossed in the trash. The Journal contained enough business news to keep Bancel occupied, but it was another headline that grabbed his attentionabout the outbreak of a mysterious illness in China. A major advantage of mRNA is that it is very easy to manufacture these RNA sequences once researchers know the sequence of the viral protein they want to target. As he brainstormed options with Andressomeone Bancel affectionately calls as paranoid as he istheir solutions quickly spun out of hand. After the outbreak of the American Civil War, Bennett joined the 12th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment and fought in the Battle of Vicksburg before being severely wounded by the accidental discharge of his own gun. In the meantime, he continued to innovate in the field of photography by inventing a stop action shutter which allowed him to take photographs of instantaneous events. International. We will see what they can do, he said. It was January 13. Okay, Bennett said under her breath, her microphone on mute. And now, as Moderna awaits potential emergency use authorization by the FDA, Bennett said she is proud of what her team has accomplished. Up until then, all of the U.S. COVID-19 cases had been imported. Hamilton Bennett's colleagues are Aaron Frank, Abigail Longstaff, Adam Gilmore, Aida Skelic and more. On April 6, Inovio, the Pennsylvania company, announced it was approved to start its Phase 1 trial. He originated methods for trimming, printing, washing, and mounting pictures, and devised improvements for his cameras. Haller wasnt fazed. He had been through epidemics before, but he had never seen anything like this. If you're a human and see this, please ignore it. He came to Kilbourn City, now called Wisconsin Dells, in 1857, and began his career by purchasing a photographic business in 1865. It was no longer just an interesting experiment on a clinical scale. In January, with exponential growth in infection rates in the city of Wuhan, China, and increasing evidence of high community transmission, Moderna's leadership acknowledged that the outbreak was a serious threat and asked Bennett to begin working on a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as the new virus's genome sequence was obtained. And he knew just whom to call. Throughout Boston and beyond, however, there had never been a more active moment in the world of vaccine research. The vehicle pulled out of the plant, its taillights glowing red in the dark as it headed south to Maryland. Copyright 2023 All American Speakers Bureau. Bancel, whod spent much of his career at companies that focused on infectious disease, raised his eyebrows. Bennett described. Due to the low demand for portraits in the area, Bennett set his sights on landscape photography. At the time, 35-year-old Hamilton Bennett, the senior director of vaccine access and partnerships at Moderna, a small, then-relatively unknown biotech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts . AAE is one of the premier celebrity booking agencies and top keynote speakers bureaus in the world. However, the decision that Moderna was confronted with in early January -- of whether to try to develop a vaccine against the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus -- was a risk, directing valuable resources toward a viral threat that we didn't yet know would blossom into a full-blown pandemic. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent. On March 11, Italy closed for business. I was so focused on the program, and I would leave the office at 10 o'clock at night. Like Moderna, both of these groups utilize novel platforms that can quickly make vaccines without using the virus itself. Unlike more traditional vaccines, which consist of weakened or inactivated forms of a virus, thus stimulating the body's immune response to create antibodies, a vaccine using mRNA sends a set of instructions into cells to teach them to make a protein, which will trigger an immune response inside our bodies to fight off the disease. Hamilton Bennett, the senior director of vaccine access and partnerships at Moderna, did not anticipate that her team's years of work would soon be thrust into the global spotlight when Moderna became the first American company to jump into the race to a coronavirus vaccine. Bennett, who holds graduate degrees from University of Washington in Environmental Health and Microbiology, as well a certificate in Epidemiology from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has over 10 years of research experience and had spent the last four years as a researcher and leader on the company's vaccine portfolio. But a vaccine based on mRNA had never been approved or authorized by the FDA before. Hamilton Bennett, Senior Director of Vaccine Access and Partnerships at Moderna, works on the company's COVID-19 vaccine from home. David L. Ryan/Boston Globe via Getty Images, FILE, Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE, New book busts myths, answers common questions about menopause. bio for Hamilton Bennett agency, manager, speaker fees, speaking agency entertainment booking agency, speaker's fee, how to book, booking agencies for lectures, speaking event, celebrity appearances for hire, who is agent, manager, publicist, who represents, speakers bureau management who represents Hamilton Bennett. He built himself a portable darkroom, and then towed it, his camera, and other necessary equipment with him across the local countryside taking pictures. All rights reserved. Others were not convinced that the pandemic would last more than a few months and felt it would be more prudent to wait before moving forward, until there was proof the virus was indeed a threat. A few days later, Haller was at her desk for the tech firm where she works in Seattle, taking a break and catching up with her Facebook feed, when she saw a post that Kaiser was searching for volunteers. The team was able to quickly identify the spike protein and understand how to engineer and stabilize it to induce a strong immune response, and when Bennett's team and the researchers at the NIH saw they had designed the same sequence independently, they felt confident in their findings. However, when the severity of the pandemic became evident, "knowing what mRNA could do, having confidence in our platform, we thought, how do we show the global public health community what mRNA can do in a pandemic?" It had left her stranded a few times since the project began (exactly how often was another metric that the consummate planner was tracking on her whiteboard). "We'd set our timelines for phase 1, thinking, 'we could possibly start a phase 1 study in April,'" Bennett said. And now, as Moderna awaits potential emergency use authorization by the FDA, Bennett said she is proud of what her team has accomplished. The team would be well into the next step before it even knew if results from the previous step indicated they were on the right path. Nothing. Moderna scientists had never tried to make a vaccine this quickly before, and there was risk of straining the platform and the team beyond their breaking points. Bancel made sure the ringer on his phone was on before he left the office and made his way across the Longfellow Bridge to his home on Beacon Hill. Are you sure?, Yeah, her colleague said. Hamilton Bennett, the senior director of vaccine access and partnerships at Moderna, did not anticipate that her team's years of work would soon be thrust into the global spotlight when Moderna became the first American company to jump into the race to a coronavirus vaccine. Nothing, however, produced a more acute case of agita for Bancel than the topic of how to ship the vaccine to the NIH when it was finished.  Boston audiences of 1890 gasped when this photograph was projected as a magic lantern slide. This sounds risky, one of them told her. No one, not even Bennett, knew just how fast the company could deliver this vaccine, but she wanted to find out. On the radio, the news was wall-to-wall coronavirus. Find contacts: direct phone number, email address, work experience. To Bancel, meanwhile, the sheer act of debating whether to move forward struck him as absurd in light of what he was learning at Davos. She felt as though there was nothing she could do. "Every day we just accelerated that timeline faster and faster. By May, though, Moderna had pulled back into the lead when its Phase 2 trials were approved to start sooner than expected. Almost twenty years later, hes still baby faced and his hair is still jet black, though hes no longer always the youngest guy in the room. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of a global pandemic that has led to more than 2.8 million deaths worldwide. Up from 27 from just days before. Kaiser needed to find dozens of healthy people who would volunteer as guinea pigs for Modernas Phase 1 safety trial. In the midst of much uncertainty and chaos, Bennett, has emerged as one of the unsung heroes of the pandemic, working feverishly and tirelessly behind the scenes throughout the year to help engineer a vaccine that could potentially save millions of lives. Vaccines & Biodefense. Cost and Value of Biopharmaceuticals. As soon as she walked into her house, though, she dropped her bag on the floor and fell into a puddle of tears. It was no longer just an interesting experiment on a clinical scale. Three days. As soon as she saw the ad, it hit her: Maybe there was something she could do after all. "We believe that our platform is going to make a difference, and we believe that we're uniquely capable of responding to this pandemic. He was technically on vacation at his home in the south of France, but even on his days off, Bancel didnt sleep much. The platforms potential seemed limitless. During the small hours of a cold January morning, Stphane Bancel slipped into the kitchen while his wife and children were still in bed. Bennett received much attention for his advanced techniques, and was commissioned by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad to photograph the landscape along the company's track in Wisconsin. Related Tags: Information on keynote speaking engagements, personal appearances, corporate entertainment and appearance fees for Hamilton Bennett, an inspirational motivational speaker. At that point, you've got to succeed.". But a vaccine based on mRNA had never been approved or authorized by the FDA before. But it was his work during the 2016 Zika outbreak that rocketed him to broader fame after he produced an investigational vaccine in a then-unheard-of 180 days. This isnt going to be SARS. Similar debates were taking place among many of the world's top pharmaceutical firms, according to Bennett, who described a late-January industry conference call about emerging infectious diseases where several top echelon executives had expressed concerns about the risks of joining the global efforts. Normally, he would never take a call at a moment like that, but Bancel usually only communicated with him through textsunless, that is, the matter was urgent. As he huddled next to the heater, he searched Google for international flights out of Wuhan. Much of it wasnt even public and yet here they were, turning their phone screens toward Bancel for him to see. Sera from participants immunized on a prime-boost schedule with the mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine were tested for neutralizing activity against several SARS-CoV-2 variants, including variants of concern (VOCs) and variants of interest (VOIs), compared to neutralization of the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 virus (designated as D614G). Three days later, on January 10, Bennett was on a previously scheduled call with Graham when the subject of Chinas low-level viral outbreak came up. Each time, he stole a glance at his phone to see if it was the only message he cared about: the results. The team was able to quickly identify the spike protein and understand how to engineer and stabilize it to induce a strong immune response, and when Bennett's team and the researchers at the NIH saw they had designed the same sequence independently, they felt confident in their findings. Interesting perspective from Hamilton Bennett, Moderna's senior director, vaccine access and partnerships. Join BIO as we champion for bringing new treatments to patients with serious medical conditions and to support policies that promote innovation and improve patient access. In 1857, at the age of 14, Bennett moved with his father and uncle to Wisconsin. The best known photograph taken by Bennett with this device was an 1886 image of his son Ashley jumping between two rock formations in the Dells. She signed a 45-page informed consent document listing the medical risks without thinking twice. In late April, Moderna was still at the front of the pack, planning on Phase 2 trials this summer and then Phase 3 trials in the fall. The group settled in Kilbourn City, today known as Wisconsin Dells, and Henry worked as a carpenter in the town. Just about the last place he needs to be is in a fast-food restaurant in Kirkland, she told her mom. If they werent, their time, effort, and resources would be wasted, and theyd have to backtrack and start over. Bancel had been burned by shipping before. I believe in science and the possibility of great teams coming together to do things that were thought to be impossible, he says. Photo via AP Photo/Ted S. Warren. Bancel forwarded Graham's email to Hamilton Bennett, an energetic and idealistic 35-year-old who'd spent the previous three years as program leader on Moderna's vaccine portfolio. And if we don't do it, maybe no one else will," Bennett said, while recalling her reasoning at the time. Can you make any sense of the viral outbreak going on in China? Bancel pecked out on his tablet. In a decision that has been controversial in some corners of the scientific community, the FDA allowed Moderna, based on prior animal data, to try its vaccine on humans without complete animal trials. Offers may be subject to change without notice. He didn't have to go far to find impressive scenery, for the Wisconsin River Dells, a gorge with numerous sandstone formations, was just outside Kilbourn City. The news only strengthened Hallers resolve to participate in Modernas trials. Nevertheless, Bennett pressed on in his profession, selling gift shop type items from his studio to attract more customers and continuing as a professional landscape photographer until his death from Bright's disease in 1908. The company had also been working for years in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on bringing a new class of vaccines to market. "I'll have a moment to step back and think about what I've done and what our team has done and what our company has done.". As he made his way past security and into the West Wing, Bancel, who still thought of himself as a middle-class kid from the south of France despite having amassed a fortune after Modernas record-breaking 2018 IPO, felt humbled by the invitation. Explore the webinar opportunities for interactive, online learning about emerging issues in biotechnology public policy, scientific progress, and raising capital, plus methods to benefit from BIOs membership services. Note that clicking the link below will block access to this site for 24 hours. Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE, Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information. The popularity of his photographs helped turn the city of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin into a tourist destination.. The cat is out of the bag, he thought. Of those that do, not all will make it to Phase 3, and no one knows whichif anywill ultimately prove effective and ostensibly save the world. People lost their jobs, diagnoses soared, and the body count rose. Hamilton Bennett and her team got it done in months. Our tools and initiatives on workforce development, diversity and inclusion are designed to advance a more globally competitive industry. At the time, 35-year-old Hamilton Bennett, the senior director of vaccine access and partnerships at Moderna, a small, then-relatively unknown biotech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, did not anticipate that her team's years of work would soon be thrust into the global spotlight when Moderna became the first American company to jump into the race to a coronavirus vaccine. Hamilton Bennett Senior Director, Vaccine Access and Partnerships at Moderna Malden, Massachusetts, United States 1K followers 500+ connections Join to view profile Moderna Activity Have you. Bancel forwarded Grahams email to Hamilton Bennett, an energetic and idealistic 35-year-old whod spent the previous three years as program leader on Modernas vaccine portfolio. In addition, because early cameras were unable to accurately capture details of the sky or reflections in water after being adjusted for the light of a typical land photograph, Bennett wove together negatives from multiple photographs of land, sky and water before creating a final print. Henry Hamilton Bennett was a photographer born Farnham, Quebec, Canada. Hamilton Bennett and her team worked tirelessly to engineer a vaccine. She had managed Modernas Zika program that produced a vaccine in a mere 10 months, a company record. It was too soon, they said. ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, VACCINE ACCESS AND PARTNERSHIPS, MODERNA THERAPEUTICS, INC Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States Hamilton Bennett (she/her) is the Senior Director of Vaccine Access and Partnerships at Moderna, a company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines. or Bancel fixed himself a cup of black tea and took a seat at the counter to kick off his early-morning ritual with the Wall Street Journal. They spent several hours on the phone that day, and by the time Monday rolled around they had agreed to join forces once again, capitalizing on Barouchs ability to design a vaccine and carry out preclinical work in the lab, and Janssens manufacturing capabilities and sheer muscle as a major pharma company. Some said it would divert resources from thriving areas of research and reprioritize other lucrative programs, while betting on a yet unproven vaccine technology. Before she knew it, they had halved the time to 60 days. Because mRNA vaccines are made on a computer and not from the viruses themselves, that was all they needed to begin. He knew that if Seattle became too much of a hot spot, it could upend the trial in many ways. Call us to speak with a booking agent to discuss your event or specific speaker request. Any day now, Moderna was expecting the green light from the FDA, allowing the NIH to move ahead with a Phase 1 trial for the companys new vaccine. Next, a pharmacist readied the injection. Soon after, the U.S. government announced it was funding Moderna with nearly half a billion dollars. Age. Bancel was nervous. She felt fortunate to have a job she could do from home, and because her hours were flexible, she knew she could make it to the dozen or so required appointments. He has spent most of his career seeking one for HIV and has worked on one for Ebola, too. It was a gamble. Days later, once she found out shed been selected, several friends tried to dissuade her. Moderna already had a template to work from, having spent several years designing experimental mRNA vaccines for the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the Zika virus. But I also know that shit happens. So as upbeat as he felt about Modernas efforts to build a vaccine, he was gripped with fear every day of the manufacturing process that something would go wrong. In the early days of the race, Inovio CEO Joseph Kim seemed to relish the competition. Can you get it done?. My hope for the world is that many of us get to the finish line, so we can stop this thing, Bancel says. Despite the risks, Bennett said she felt very strongly that it was the company's moral and social obligation to develop the vaccine and, thus, advocated to push the company to take the gamble. Being crowned Miss Asia Pageant 1997 effectively launched her career in the fashion and entertainment industry. After Bennett created the new shutter, he was able to take clear pictures of moving subjects. The site that the NIH had chosen for the trialthe only site it had selectedwas in Seattle. In the midst of much uncertainty and chaos, Bennett, has emerged as one of the unsung heroes of the pandemic, working feverishly and tirelessly behind the scenes throughout the year to help engineer a vaccine that could potentially save millions of lives. But if the risk paid off, the reward would be substantial: It could shave weeks, even months, off the timeline. Clearly, this is coming, and it's coming to the states.'". At another, they considered putting a Moderna employee on the truck to personally chaperone the vials to the NIH in Maryland.  Early life [ edit] The model turned Hong Kong film actress lives in Singapore. That was in January 2020, just a month after the first reports of a mysterious new lung illness in China. Bancel knew he needed to reach out to Moderna cofounder Noubar Afeyan, the serial biotech entrepreneur who runs Flagship Pioneering in Cambridge and chairs Modernas board of directors. Six days after beginning their conversation, on January 31, Barouchs lab and Janssen had an agreement signed, sealed, and delivered. In Davos, he hammered out a collaboration agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a foundation that finances infectious-disease research, to produce Phase 1 of the vaccine. When data from the first phases of Moderna's clinical trial revealed the vaccine candidate had generated a protective immune response, it was a "sigh of relief" from the team -- but there was "no time to appreciate it," Bennett said. If you're a scraper, please click the link below :-) It can take from 10 to 15 years to develop a new vaccine. The victim was a resident of a long-term-care facility in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle that borders Kenmore, the town where Hallers mom and stepfather live. Health officials warned that it was just the tip of the iceberg. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Agriculture & Environment. Bringing you daily news at the intersection of biotechnology, politics, patients & the planet. Some said it would divert resources from thriving areas of research and reprioritize other lucrative programs, while betting on a yet unproven vaccine technology. The clock was officially ticking. "The world was looking at us because we had started the first study in the U.S. We had done it faster than anyone before had ever done it. She agreed that as soon as the new viruss sequence was publicly posted online, sometime in the coming days, her team would begin a dry run. Her research and development experience and laser-like focus on COVID helped Moderna get its vaccine into early clinical trials within two monthsand receive FDA emergency use authorization by. Despite the risks, Bennett said she felt very strongly that it was the company's moral and social obligation to develop the vaccine and, thus, advocated to push the company to take the gamble.
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