MODERNA AND PFIZER USE 2P MOLECULE
Dr. McLellan and his colleagues used standard techniques to make a MERS vaccine, but the result was multiple postfusion spikes that were useless for their purpose. Then they discovered a way to keep the protein locked in a tulip-like prefusion. All they had to do was turn two of the more than a thousand building blocks in the protein into a compound called proline.
The resulting spike is named 2P for the two new proline molecules it contains. The team filed a patent application for the modified spike, but the world didn’t pay much attention to this invention. MERS, although deadly, was not very contagious and was seen as a relatively minor threat; Less than a thousand people have died from MERS since it first appeared in humans.
However, in late 2019, a new corona virus, SARS-CoV-2, emerged and began to take the world by storm. Dr. McLellan and his colleagues took action by designing a 2P spike specific to SARS-CoV-2. Within days Moderna used this information to design a vaccine for Covid-19; It contained a genetic molecule called RNA that contains instructions for making 2P spikes. Other companies soon followed the same situation, adopting 2P increases for their vaccine designs and embarking on clinical trials. All three vaccines from e Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech use the 2P spike protein molecule.