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Vaccines save lives and generate profits. Why is investment lagging?

Covid vaccines saved nearly 20 million lives worldwide, by one estimate, and generated billions of dollars for several drugmakers. But investment in experimental vaccines for dozens of other diseases remains modest and should be much higher, according to a new biotechnology industry report.

Even with the historic effort to develop coronavirus vaccines, including shots created by Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna, drugmakers developing new vaccines for infectious diseases received 3.4% of all venture capital raised for biopharma companies in the past 10 years, for a total of $6.5 billion, the report said.

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In comparison, firms with potential cancer drugs received 38% of venture capital, or $72.6 billion — 12 times as much — during the same period, according to the report by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, or BIO, the world’s largest biotech trade group.

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