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Among the most notable aspects of the Covid-19 vaccine race was who won it: Pfizer and two small biotechs, while most of the world’s largest and oldest vaccine makers either waited too long or picked older and ultimately less effective technologies. Since then, there’s been a minor gold-rush for mRNA among legacy makers. Last year, GSK expanded a collaboration with CureVac, one of the first mRNA startups, and Sanofi bought another called Translate Bio for $3.2 billion.

Now Merck, which reportedly turned down an opportunity to partner on Moderna’s vaccine early in the pandemic, is getting in on the game.

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