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Where do new drugs come from? Does science need billionaires? And do normal people care about messenger RNA?

We cover all that and more this week on “The Readout LOUD,” STAT’s biotech podcast. Journalist Nathan Vardi joins us to talk about his new book delving into the race to develop the lifesaving cancer drug now called Imbruvica, involving a Scientologist CEO and secretive investor seeking redemption after the worst trade of his life. We also discuss the latest news in the life sciences, including new vaccines for a vexing infection and the future of mRNA.


For more on what we cover, here’s where you can buy Vardi’s book; here’s the news on Moderna’s RSV vaccine; here’s where you can find episodes of Color Code; and here’s where you can subscribe to the First Opinion Podcast.

Be sure to sign up on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

And if you have any feedback for us — topics to cover, guests to invite, vocal tics to cease — you can email [email protected].

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