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The Messenger: Moderna, the Vaccine, and the Business Gamble That Changed the World Hardcover – July 26, 2022

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


"This book offers a fascinating view inside the company behind the vaccine." — CHOICE, the publication of the American Library Association

"Mr. Loftus' book is an easy and great read for anyone interested in science and business." — Business Standard

"Wall Street Journal reporter Peter Loftus provides the inside track on the company in The Messenger, an engagingly pacy yet detailed narrative that traces the scientific origins of the Moderna story through the various dramas that led to the licensing of the vaccine in December 2020." — The Irish Times

"Offers readers an inside view of the company's ascent from secretive startup to one of the most valuable health care companies in the world." — Science magazine

"Based on nearly 300 interviews with more than 150 people, including Moderna employees, co-founders, members of the company's board and investors past and present, the book tells the story of the bet Moderna made on developing a vaccine for Covid-19." — Financial Times

"Wall Street Journal reporter Loftus charts in his captivating debut Moderna's spectacular rise from a small biotech company with "no products [and] no profits" in 2018 to a key player in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine." — Publisher's Weekly

"A satisfying look at how a smart business can both identify opportunity and do well by doing good." — Kirkus Reviews

Advance Praise for The Messenger:

"The Messenger delivers a riveting account of Moderna's unprecedented quest to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. With deep reporting and clear writing, Loftus compellingly chronicles the high-stakes drama behind one of the most important science-business stories of our time." — Ron Winslow, former Deputy Bureau Chief, Health and Science, and award-winning medical reporter, the Wall Street Journal

"Peter Loftus's new book is an in-depth look at how a controversial startup whose vaccine was one of the few miracles of the pandemic rose from nothing to a company that at its peak was valued at over $200 billion. The book is part business story, part science story, and entirely a story of people who wouldn't entertain the notion of failure." — Bethany McLean, contributing editor, Vanity Fair; columnist, Thomson Reuters; and coauthor, New York Times bestselling author, All the Devils Are Here

"The Messenger is a compelling, page-turning story of the development of the mRNA vaccine for Covid-19 by a collaboration between Moderna and scientists at the National Institutes of Health. Given the incredible importance of mRNA vaccines in combating both Covid-19 and other pathogens in the future, this well-written, accessible, and exciting narrative is a must-read." — Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH; Professor of Medicine and Associate Division Chief, HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

About the Author

Peter Loftus writes about the pharmaceutical industry and health care for the Wall Street Journal. Based in Philadelphia, he covers large drugmakers, biotech firms, and the latest developments in drug research and innovation. He has followed Moderna and the wider chase for a Covid-19 vaccine from their start. He is part of a Journal reporting team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Follow Peter Loftus on Twitter @loftus.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harvard Business Review Press (July 26, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1647823196
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1647823191
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.25 x 1.25 x 9.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 28 ratings

About the author

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PETER LOFTUS is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, covering the drug and medical-device industries and other health care topics. He was part of a Journal team that won second place in the business category of the 2020 Association of Health Care Journalists’ awards for coverage of the race for a Covid-19 vaccine. In 2016 he was part of a Journal team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting for a series of articles about rising prescription drug prices. Before joining the Journal in 2013, he was a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, covering the pharmaceutical and technology industries. Before that, he worked for community newspapers in suburban Philadelphia. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in English and history. He lives outside Philadelphia with his wife and three children.

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
28 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Donald F. Gillis
1.0 out of 5 stars An inside,step by step monologue on Moderna.
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on August 15, 2022