2021 Late Discovery Paper Of The Year Award – Winners

  1. An mRNA Vaccine Against SARS-CoV-2 – Preliminary Report 

  2. Phase I/II study of COVID-19 RNA vaccine BNT 162b1 in adults


The need for platforms to develop vaccines rapidly and efficiently was clearly highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The first vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 was approved only a few months after the beginning of the global health threat and is now being rolled out over the world. Interestingly, the two first approved vaccines were both mRNA-based, which was also a premiere for the field. The two papers herein highlight this milestone, as the first clinical reports on mRNA-1273 and BNT162b1 (respectively Moderna and Pfizer/BioNtech vaccines). They revealed the results of Phase I/II studies (first in humans) of each vaccine respectively. In both cases, the authors reported effective therapeutic effects (immune response in all participants revealed by antibody titration), while mild effects were observed after the two required doses. This research opened the way to Phase II/III trials, followed by the approval of both drugs in different countries. The vaccines are now being deployed worldwide.