COVID-19: Oh, mammon what a wonderful war we are having!

COVID 19 - Big Pharma and the culture of greed

The ‘war’ on Covid-19, has resulted in sky-high profits for Big Pharma mammon. The complex web of contracts, sub-contracts, public and private funding, leads to questions over who owns the patents or has a share in the profits. Questions also arise as to whether secrecy is protecting the patents and vaccine technology for forward use in the next big ‘war’ and vaccine bonanza – the “war on cancer”.


Your author’s research into the alternative treatment for cancer (1986 – 1993), resulted in such a horrific backlash that I shelved the data files – a report on the research which had been circulated to the NHS policy unit and several oncologists, together with a scientific publication (1) covering the research and left for Greece in order to recover. At the time I had warned of the importance of a healthy innate immune system, but emphasized that this one approach to treatment, was not always effective and should be only part of any treatment plan, as psychological factors were involved.

I was persuaded in 2010 to cover the research and my experience in a semi-autobiographical account (The Cancer Files: A Biochemist’s Story – How the Answer to Cancer was Suppressed). I forwarded the book containing the entire mechanism for cancer that I had formulated to New Scientist magazine. A chapter of the book covered Coley’s Toxins, research dating back to the 19th Century. After hundreds of hours working through the Science Citation Index, which had to be carried out in a library, as there was no internet then, I came across a paper from the 1960s where a trial of Coley’s Toxins, had been conducted. It was a eureka moment as a scientist, for it provided the last piece of the puzzle of cancer and a mechanism I had been wrestling with, waiting for that moment of epiphany. The momentous conclusion was that Cancer is a throwback primitive evolutionary survival mechanism based on loss. Scientists could never hope to solve that mechanism by solely targeting a failed immune system and cancer with a vaccine.

I think I was furious to say the least, to see the Editor of New Scientist had ferreted out Coley’s Toxins for a piece in the journal, with no acknowledgement or mention of the research I had forwarded. Research that had taken enormous time and funding. I complained but given the gender bias in science and my own experience of the suppression of any answer to cancer that does not involve drugs, I was not surprised to be ignored (Letter to New Scientist: ).

Evidently New Scientist could see the application within the pharmaceutical industry of this section of my research relating to the immune response. It may be entirely coincidental but the biotech company Moderna was set up in 2010 and a whole new area of research and development into immuno-oncology drugs emerged. The repeat of a very old overt had occurred, going back to the Late Minoans c. 1600 BC, where the stolen Woman’s Mysteries, were altered and manipulated for power and profit (

In less than ten years, 30 approved immunotherapies were on the market, but as with orthodox cancer treatments only about 15% of patients responded and which in 1989 I had warned about, if treatment solely addressed the immune system. My warnings of poor food quality, the effect of the environment and chemical treatment of food and poor soil resulting from farming practices, with over use of pesticides, and the destructive effect on the innate immune system, went unheeded as the response at the time, rather resembled Meryl Streep’s response in the film ‘Don’t Look Up’-a ‘powerful’ depiction of society’s response to scientific warnings.

Today’s vaccine immune therapies, which includes the COVID-19 vaccines, aim to stimulate the natural or innate immune response, for example by stimulating T-lymphocyte production, which function to seek out and destroy ‘abnormal’ cells that are infected or mutated. There are a number of T-cell immune therapies which can respond to various tumor associated antigens. A healthy immune system is just one of the first lines of defense against disease and infection i.e. from viruses to bacteria and cancerous cells.

The goal of Big Pharma was to produce vaccines and drugs to promote a flagging immune system. I liken that approach to a leaking tap, where changing the washer is attempted rather than turning off the mains. Big Pharma mammon is not concerned with why the patient has a flagging immune system, be that through diet, stress, toxins, depression or poor life choices.

Big Pharma desperately needed a PR boost after a decade or so of poor cancer survival rates, widely reported in the press along with side effects of some notorious drugs – the opioid scandal etc. As any advertising executive knows if you can label something “new” one is able to erase the “old” – in this case the orthodox treatment of cancer – surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, which is still a highly profitable business for Big Pharma mammon. They could however no longer hide the failure as cancer statistics rose from one in five (1989) to one in two or 50% (U.K.). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that about 8.2 million people died from cancer in 2012 and predicted that figure to increase at a rate of 70% over the following two decades. We are told we must “learn to live” with Coronavirus and presumably 8.2 million must learn to die with cancer.

In 2013 Reuters reported Citigroup analyst Andrew Baum’s forecast that oncology immunotherapies would generate sales of up to $35 bn a year in the following decade. The sales would depend on progressing oncology vaccines and other immunotherapies from niche treatments to mass treatments by 2023. How fortunate then that the public have been de-sensitized to mass vaccination programs via the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2013 Associated Press reported that immune therapies were only used in 3% of oncology treatment plans. Baum predicted this would rise to 60%. Financial analysts don’t talk to scientists, or read scientific papers, they talk to PR executives at Big Pharma. Presumably Baum hadn’t interviewed Professor Gary Middleton a British oncologist, who reported in 2020, that immune therapy can make some cancers worse, by causing “hyper progression” (uncontrollable growth). “Checkpoint inhibitors” are a type of immunotherapy which interferes with the ‘signals’ that tumor cells use to evade the body’s defense system i.e. immune response. Further the cost per patient treatment is £80,000, hardly sustainable for the NHS (National Health Service) in the U.K., but presumably aimed at rich private patients.

The Nobel Prize (2018) was awarded to two scientists for the discovery of “checkpoint inhibitors” on the basis that their discovery: “revolutionized cancer treatment and fundamentally changed the way we view how cancer can be managed”. This apparently was news to one of the scientists – Professor Tasuku Honjo who said he had never tried to create new treatments and that his research was simply on the basic functioning of the immune system. This illustrates just how political and tied to Big Pharma the Prize is, when it comes to medicine, besides which like science in general and journals the prize is gender bias.

Just as the financial analysts, started to promote immune-oncology investment and predicted sky high profits, a number of articles started to appear in the controlled media promoting the idea that viruses cause cancer. A study in the journal Nature Genetics reported that out of 2,600 tumor samples from 38 cancer types, viruses were found in only 13% of them. Whilst scientists are cautious in declaring viruses play a part in cancer, and rightly so with only 13% occurrence, it is more probable that diseased cells and a poorly functioning immune system, which is the case with cancer, means that virus attack can be expected. This did not stop the controlled press subservient to Big Pharma advertising reporting: “New vaccine hope as viruses are discovered in one in eight tumors”. The constant referral to the “New” hope of vaccine treatments, was curious given the COVID-19 pandemic was about to descend of man.

An epidemiological study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, published in 2021 in Plos Medicine reported on mortality figures i.e. risk of death from the COVID-19 virus during Britain’s first wave of coronavirus in 2020. Dr Helen Strongman, an epidemiologist on the study said the virus: “… really exploits any frailty or health demographic risk factor. It picks on people who are already at risk of ill health or death more than other people in the population.” I had made that point in my research some 32 years prior, where virus and bacterial infections are more likely to be found in those with poor health and with a flagging immune system – which received a ‘Don’t Look Up’ response. Further in 2021 a Natural History Museum analysis revealed that the UK, with just half (53%) of its biodiversity remaining, is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, something I had warned of 32 years prior.

If the connection between viruses and vaccination, was a form of softening public perception on vaccines, advertising to the medical sector also went into overdrive.  Syneos Health (U.S.) reported on advertising for oncology products to the medical profession, going back to 2008. What they found was a big spike. The $497 million spent on oncology consumer ads in 2014 was more than six times the $80 million spent over the seven previous years (2008 -2014). Such advertising is usually created by Big Pharma in-house teams and never creates negative advertising for products. Often those products are endorsed by a hierarchy of the medical profession. Oncologists ever grateful to give “hope” to their patients, home in on these ads and the “New” product immuno-oncology.

Advertising representatives from Big Pharma also tour doctors’ surgeries and one cannot discount kick-backs. New Scientist (1990 – ‘Congress slams misconduct in medical research’) reported on: “kickbacks, fraud and misconduct are rife among American medical researchers, according to a scathing critique published by a U.S. Congressional committee.” The Report claimed that the National Institute of Health had “endangered public health” by failing to police the scientists it supports. It called for: “new laws that would force scientists on government grants to limit their ownership of company stock and their acceptance of consulting fees and honoraria from industry…”. If you thought it was only Members of Parliament who hold lucrative second jobs and engage in lobbying activities, you would be mistaken. This misconduct is not limited to the U.S. and it is still not resolved where in the U.K., The Times (2018) reported ‘Doctors keep drug company cash secret’.

The immune therapy market had only just emerged in 2012, but was predicted to balloon from $1.1 bn in that year to nearly $9 bn in 2022, in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy. Spain, the U.K. and Japan. Notably as with COVID-19 vaccine distribution they are the rich nations, which is the target consumer group of Big Pharma. The smell of profits set off a frenzy of investment in Research and Development, where competing Big Pharma companies raced to be at the front of the oncology immunotherapy market. For Big Pharma there was also the added bonus that the cutting-edge nature of cancer vaccine technology, meant that patents covering intellectual and technological property had years to go with protection, which will keep expensive brand sales coming.

Covid-19 vaccine companies like Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson reaped the PR benefits, when they all made the Axios Harris 100 list of best regarded companies in the U.S. in 2021. They are the first biopharma companies to be listed in the top 10 ranking in the 20- year history of the list. Moderna ranked third, whilst Pfizer came in at number 7, both on the strength of their innovation scores, but also gaining high marks for vision and culture – whatever that means.

COVID-19 appeared to be a gift that kept on giving for Big Pharma, not only changing attitudes towards vaccination, but helping to reverse the terrible PR that Big Pharma had attracted over the past decade. Prime Minister Boris Johnson kept repeating “we follow the science” – the question is whose science? Oligarchic science devoted to profit and growth whatever the cost? Alternative research and ideology neatly elbowed out of the picture.

Both Moderna and Pfizer scored 10 to 20 points higher across all measures compared to 2020 results. The No. 1 ranked company (U.S.) was outdoor clothing and gear maker Patagonia, followed by Honda Motor Company, just in front of Moderna. Fast food giant chick-Fil-A and Elon Musk’s space venture Space-X and online pet retailer Chewy came in the top six in front of Pfizer.

That the public is influenced by news media and not independent research, was illustrated when Johnson and Johnson lost out to Pfizer and Moderna on the basis of reports of blood clots, with their vaccine. The majority of media is controlled and thus opinions reflect this, with no deep convictions and where choices are made based on news coverage.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) are the buzzwords for corporate sustainability, which replaced Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainability. Curious how “responsibility” was dropped. On paper and in board rooms it ticks a lot of boxes and looks good for investors who want to make buckets of money, but don’t want to have a conscience or take any “responsibility”. It also acts to rally the troops – the mainly young employees who hold millennial values, but as with the last generation do not practice those values. Nobody wants to feel guilty.

Where ESG falls flat on its face, is when the public spots the Jekyll and Hyde nature of Big Pharma. The issue of drug pricing, monopoly, profiteering and growth at whatever the cost exposes Mammon and makes ESG look like camouflage. Various litigations e.g. thalidomide, opioids and talcum have constantly shadowed the industry over safety and Social Responsibility, which does not cover the wider Social Responsibility such as affordable health care, particularly in poorer nations where cheaper generic drugs are limited by the patent rights of Big Pharma. A generic drug is a medication created to be the same as an already marketed brand-name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics, and intended use. This also opens up the market to scams.

There was a frenzy of investors in 2013 piling in to biotech companies researching oncology immunology and vaccines. It was touted by analysts as the next big tech bonanza, with the promise of record high profits. In the case of cancer, perhaps a lesson can be learnt from Theranos, where a technology was hyped as the next big Google. A nineteen-year-old university student Elizabeth Holmes raised more than $700 million US dollars from venture capitalists and investors for her company Theranos (2013/2014) claiming that with a single blood drop placed in her machine, it could diagnose numerous diseases. In January 2022 she was convicted of fraud, but not before she had enticed high profile names. The conviction curiously did not cover users who had undergone blood tests, gaining false results and who had arranged their lives on those results.

From your author’s experience, she recognizes why the court did not cover users. It would open the floodgates to users of orthodox cancer therapies who had suffered serious side effects. I have heard the argument and it goes like this: Cancer is a serious disease and the treatment was the best available at the time and was undertaken in good faith. There was no attempt at fraud. It’s the get-out clause for chemotherapy and radiation, which can and does leave some patients permanently damaged. There is no acceptance that had you been given full knowledge of the side effects, you would not have undertaken the treatment and no acceptance that you would have followed an alternative cancer treatment e.g. the Gerson Therapy. The claim is that all alternative treatments are unproven and orthodox medicine with Big Pharma has ensured that all research in this field has been suppressed in order to maintain a monopoly

The case of Thereson illustrates how investors, who know very little science are lured by the Silicon Valley ethos that high tech is the answer to all problems, including medical problems. It is an ideology that drives orthodox medicine and Big Pharma. It illustrates the two disparate philosophies of orthodox and alternative medicine. Big Pharma and orthodoxy see the tumor as the cause of the disease whereas alternative medicine sees it as a symptom of an underlying cause. If we remember that COVID-19 virus picks on those with underlying health conditions and a flagging immune system, then the cause of death may be noted as “coronavirus”, but the actual cause lay in reasons for the underlying health conditions.

The surge in immuno-oncology vaccine research saw the U.S. biotech firm Moderna (ModeRna Therapeutics) founded (2010) and within two years the company had reached a unicorn valuation i.e. a privately-owned company valued at over $1 billion (£759 million) and by December 2012 the company had also raised $40 million. By comparison, I might add that attempts to set up a cancer center and test the alternative therapy outlined in my research, attracted a sole £400 donation to the charitable Karnak Trust in 1991. Evidently no-one saw a profit in it.

In March 2013 Moderna and AstraZeneca a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company with its headquarters at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in Cambridge, England and connected to Oxford University, teamed up on certain projects, where the agreement included a $240 million upfront payment to Moderna which was one of the largest ever initial payments in a pharmaceutical industry licensing deal that does not involve a drug already being tested in clinical trials, which in itself is curious. Currently Moderna has only one commercial product – the COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna received up to $25 million in October 2013 from DARPA. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a research and development agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military. Again, very curious. The investment was in order to develop messenger Rna (mRna) therapeutics. In November 2013, the company raised $110 million of equity financing and in January 2014, Alexion Pharmaceuticals paid Moderna $100 million for ten product options to develop rare disease treatments. I have to question whether DARPA was interested in this line of research and for what reason? Rare diseases I would have thought were not big earners for Big Pharma, and would not invite investment, unless of course a rare disease pandemic was being forecast? In a prior Blog I mentioned media reports in China which blamed a military conference in Beijing for the COVID-19 epidemic (

I noted in prior Blogs how disturbing it was to read a section in the PNAC (Project for the New American Century) published in 2000, which affirmed the U.S. would consider developing biological weapons which had by international law been banned: “New methods of attack – electronic, ‘non-lethal’ – biological – will be more widely available… combat likely will take place in new dimension, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes…advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool..”. : :

It is hard to see how Moderna could attract such a frenzy of investment. Further in 2017, Moderna tested mRna technology at the Montreal and Sherbroke facilities of Charles River Laboratories. They found that: “mRNA is a labile biological molecule and therefore requires the use of protective delivery systems to effectively harness its potential”. This meant that any vaccine which contained mRNA would have to be stored at -200 C, thus it was presumably never intended to be a vaccine that would be utilized in poorer countries, or hot countries as in sub-Saharan Africa. It was therefore aimed at rich countries. Moderna charges $30 for the two required shots in the U.S. and $36 in the EU. From my own personal point of view, since studies found mRNA spread beyond the injection site and was found in the liver, spleen, bone marrow and heart. I preferred the AstraZenica vaccine to the Pfizer and Moderna mRna vaccines. As readers of prior Blogs will recognize I find issues with certain genetic research.

By December 2018, Moderna became a public company via the largest biotech initial public offering in history raising $621 million (27 million shares at $23 per share). Again, since they had only one marketable product I find this more than curious. On June 25, 2021, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) gave a warning about rare cases of heart inflammation (myocarditis) associated with both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines.

Because of the attention to mRna research in the past decade, COVID-19 researchers were not starting from scratch. The mRna vaccine has the function of boosting the body’s immune reaction (immunogenicity).

Moderna then in the period 2013-2014 raised astronomical equity funding and also teamed up with AstraZenica (2013). In 2016 an editorial in the journal Nature, criticized Moderna for its secretive approach to its research. Moderna had not published any peer reviewed papers on its technology, unlike other emerging and established biotech companies, bringing to mind the debacle of Theranos. Given that Moderna had the highest valuation of any private U.S. company of over $5 billion, it was unacceptable, even though the company claimed secrecy was “for competitive reasons.” Public health requires utmost transparency, which cannot be achieved when potential profit and secrecy override that. Whether that secrecy veiled the collaboration agreement between AstraZenica and Moderna Therapeutics, to co-develop and co-commercialize immuno-oncology mRna therapeutics and vaccines is unsure, but a 50:50 profit sharing agreement was entailed.

It seems odd that despite being founded in 2010 and despite its enormous capital funding, in eleven years Moderna never made a profit, but due to its COVID-19 vaccine it anticipates sales of $18.4 bn, which does not include any booster profits. So, what was Moderna doing for eleven years, if not devoting time to an mRna cancer vaccine?

The other mRna vaccine, is the Comirnaty vaccine developed by pharmaceutical giant biotech Pfizer, in collaboration with Germany’s BioNTech. Pfizer ranks 64th on the Fortune 500 list and 49th on the Forbes Global 2000, with headquarters in Manhattan New York. In March 2020, just as the WHO had announced COVID-19 was an epidemic, Pfizer partnered with BioNTech.

Originally Pfizer declined research funds from the United States Operation Warp Speed, a public–private partnership initiated by the United States government to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. Pfizer did not want government interference and presumably any share in profits. Again, as Pfizer’s vaccine incorporated mRna which as a biological molecule degrades unless stored at the required -200C, it was never aimed at poor or hot countries like sub-Saharan Africa. As with the Moderna vaccine it was priced at $39 (£25) for two doses in the U.S. and about $30 in the EU.

Expected sales for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 were projected at $30 bn, which means in a 50:50 arrangement with BioNTech, it could expect a windfall of $15 bn on the lowest estimate. The two founders of BioNTech, a husband and wife team and both doctors became multibillionaires. Cure Vac, which also manufactures an mRna vaccine also saw a large surge in its share price.

Johnson and Johnson who developed the adenovirus vaccine, i.e. without mRna technology, predicted sales of $2bn – $3bn in 2021. AstraZenica pledged to supply their vaccine on a non-profit basis during the pandemic, avoiding accusations of “war profiteering” from the pandemic which has been levelled at other biotech companies. Consequently, AstraZenica share price fell, unlike Pfizer- BioNTech whose share price rocketed. Novavax which manufactures recombinant protein vaccine also saw huge share price increases.

Pfizer in February 2021, following a year long investigation relying on unnamed officials was accused by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism of employing “high level bullying” against at least two Latin American countries during negotiations to acquire COVID-19 vaccines, including requesting the countries place sovereign assets as collateral for payments. The negotiations caused months of delay and Argentina and Brazil failed to reach an agreement.

Generally, the controlled media omits bad press in the case of Big Pharma. Pfizer which merged with Warner Lambert in 2000, was fined in 2004, when the company paid out $430 million in one of the largest settlements to resolve criminal and civil health care charges over the illegal marketing of a drug – gabapentin for off-label uses, meaning the use of the drug in illnesses that the FDA had not approved it for. The FDA had only approved the drug for use with seizures, but it was being promoted in medical literature (available to doctors) through sponsored articles as a treatment for other conditions, not approved by the FDA.

The Cancer Files covered some of the criminal methods employed by Big Pharma, including offloading out of date drugs onto poorer countries and drugs not approved by the FDA. Clinical trials which would not be allowed in rich countries like America with the oversight of the FDA, were often carried out in poor countries. The Constant Gardener is a 2005 British-German drama thriller film (currently on Netflix). The screenplay is based on John le Carré’s 2001 novel of the same name. The story follows a British diplomat in Kenya, as he tries to solve the murder of his wife. The pharmaceutical company – “Three Bees” develops a tuberculosis drug “Dypraxa” and has drug trials conducted in Kenya. In order to get willing test subjects, the company offers treatment for HIV at no cost. The “Dypraxa” drug is effective, but kills a higher number of people than would be acceptable. The plot was vaguely based on a real-life case in Kano, Nigeria. The pharmaceutical company in order to prevent delaying the release of the drug and spending millions of dollars on refining the formula, covers up the deaths with the assistance of the British Foreign Office and high-level politicians. John Le Carré worked for the Foreign Office and presumably wrote the book from an insider view.

In 2009, Pfizer was found guilty of the illegal marketing of arthritis drug ‘Bextra’ and agreed a $2.3 bn settlement, which was the largest health care settlement at that time. It was Pfizer’s fourth such settlement in a decade. Pfizer has also been embroiled in “whistleblower suits”, over the illegal marketing of Rapamune and the termination of employment of an employee. In June 2010, health and insurance network Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) filed legal proceedings against Pfizer for allegedly illegally marketing Bextra, Geodon and Lyrica. It was also alleged Pfizer used kickbacks.

And what a lot of kickbacks there have been in the COVID-19 pandemic. Another strategy which I covered in The Cancer Files which has been used since the 1940s onwards is the withdrawal of advertising. Harpers magazine publisher John R. MacArthur claimed Pfizer withdrew “between $400,000 to a million dollars” worth of advertising after publication of a less than flattering article covering medication for depression.

The list of claims continues where a claim from asbestos victims was made in 2013. Pfizer paid out $10.75 million in 1994, to settle a claim over defective heart valves, which the company had gained approval for, by being uneconomical with the truth. Laboratory escapes of viruses as I pointed out in prior Blogs, is more common than you think and a former employee scientist of Pfizer filed legal proceedings claiming she was infected by a genetically modified lentivirus. Lentiviruses also came into question in a prior Blog on the AIDS virus.

One suspects the witch hunt the U.S. has maintained against Julian Assange, may be corporate driven. In 1996 Pfizer was involved in a law suit over the deaths of fifty children in Nigeria where an experimental antibiotic had been used. Many other children developed mental and physical deformities. In December 2010 a United States diplomatic cables leak was released by WikiLeaks. It was revealed Pfizer hired investigators to find evidence of corruption against Nigerian attorney general Aondoakaa, in an attempt to make him drop the case. As Washington Post reporter Joe Stephens commented, after helping to break the story, the actions by Pfizer were “dangerously close to blackmail.”

The Cancer Files covers the “dirty tricks” that not only I experienced, but the history of alternative medicine and its practitioners, particularly in the field of cancer which is littered with the victims of such strategies. In my new book (January 2022) I have covered lobbying and its effect on political process and democracy (Stairway to Armageddon:  A Study of a New Motive for the Assassinations of J.F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy and Death of Diana Princess of Wales). In 2009 Pfizer spent $16.3million lobbying members of the United States Congress, making it the 6th largest lobbying interest in the U.S. Wikileaks claimed Pfizer: “lobbied against New Zealand getting a free trade agreement with the United States because it didn’t like New Zealand’s drug purchase rules and even tried to remove New Zealand’s former health minister, Helen Clark, in 1990”.

Some large U.S. multinational companies are known to hold significant untaxed profits. A number of Big Pharma companies have been named – Pfizer, Merck and Co., Abbot Labs and Johnson and Johnson are included with estimated untaxed profits of $76.4 bn (2013 – Pfizer); $57.1 bn (2013 – Merck and Co.); $40 bn (2011 – Abbot labs); $14.8 bn (2012 – Johnson and Johnson). Add this to the big Tech companies’ offshore holdings and although legal, is immoral.

The use of offshore tax havens used not only by companies, but wealthy individuals and even politicians and former heads of state, gained wide news coverage with the leaked Panama Papers, followed recently by the leaked Pandora Papers. A number of studies including one by J P Morgan Chase and Co., (2011), have estimated U.S. untaxed overseas profits to be from $1.6 – $2.1 trillion. A Wall Street Journal analysis in 2012, revealed the amounts for 60 large firms grew by $160 bn – shielding 40% of their earnings. The current controversy in the U.K. centering on ‘One rule for them and another for us’ has focused on expensive wallpaper and politicians avoidance of lockdown rules. It has become an issue in Australia over vaccination rules. This is rather a drop in the ocean compared to tax evasion.

It is disturbing to realize that two of the most successful companies manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines i.e. Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna, are according to figures reported by the Peoples Vaccine Alliance making combined profits of $65,000 every minute or $93.5 million a day. It’s even more disturbing to realize that those profits come from the high prices charged for those vaccines in rich countries. Vaccine research if publicly funded by governments means the taxpayers, have to pay twice in that they finance the research and then must pay the high cost of the vaccine. They even pay a third time due to increased taxes to cover the costs of the pandemic. Even more disturbing is that some companies received government funding (from taxpayers) to develop vaccines where the taxpayer took all the risk that there would not be a viable product at the end, but after socializing the risk the company privatizes the profits through ownership of the patents.

The Bayh–Dole Act or Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act (Pub. L. 96-517, December 12, 1980) is United States legislation dealing with inventions arising from federal government-funded research. The act which allowed publicly funded research to be patented, brings into question whether government has any rights over patents or the price of the drugs. The U.S. Operation Warp Speed accelerated the development of the vaccine by facilitating public and private partnerships with more than a dozen leading biopharmaceutical companies and national and international organizations, such as the CDC, FDA, and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) (National Institutes of Health, 2020).

Oligarchies are only interested in protecting the rich and powerful and the god of profit and governments instead of challenging that power in democracies, not only protect systems such as tax evasion, but use taxpayer’s money like a cash withdrawal machine and have no conscience in increasing taxes in order to replenish the coffers. The taxpayer had to bail out the banks in the banking crisis of 2008, caused by a casino mentality of bankers and then had to struggle through the austerity period that resulted. When will people wake up to the fact that globalization only benefitted the rich?

The monopolistic power of Big Pharma over the epidemic, created five new billionaires. Maaza Seyoum of the African Alliance and People’s Vaccine Alliance Africa said: “It is obscene that just a few companies are making millions of dollars in profit every single hour, whilst only two per cent of people in low-income countries have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus.” A People’s Vaccine Alliance report from 21st October 2021 found that Moderna had only delivered 0.2% of their total vaccine supply to low-income countries and Pfizer BioNTech has delivered less than 1%. In my view the development of these vaccines was never intended for poor countries and the m,Rna technology may have been part of a bigger profit making goal – oncology-immunotherapy vaccines.

The reason that Big Pharma does not wish to give away the patents and intellectual property rights on vaccine technology, is probably because that technology has forward use in the forthcoming oncology-immunotherapy vaccine/therapy, which is forecast to make even greater profits. Some countries including the U.K. and Germany are blocking the TRIPS waiver which would suspend intellectual property rights for the COVID-19 vaccines, tests, treatments and other medical tools. Further demands for the companies to share COVID-19 technology with the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool and South Africa m.Rna Technology Transfer Hub, have also been blocked.

Although cancer vaccines have proved disappointing in previous clinical trials, as with the “old” methods of radiation and chemotherapy which proved ineffective in either reducing cancer mortality or solving the enigma of cancer, this will not deter Big Pharma, where according to forecasts, the global market would rise from $2.5 bn in 2015, to $7.5 bn in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 17% minimum with some forecasts as high as 27% (2019). The predictions depended on the rising use of immunotherapies in oncology treatment plans. In 2013 they only represented 3%, but were expected to rise to 60%. The epidemic certainly raised the PR of Big Pharma and softened the public’s stance to vaccines and any future cancer vaccine.

Another disturbing feature of this pandemic, is the lack of official will to forensically investigate and identify the origin of the virus. In the two prior quoted Bogs, I have given suggestions of origin. As an orthodox trained Biochemist, I would prefer to believe the cause was a laboratory escape, but this may not be the case. Mammon is a powerful predictor of events. Wall Street has three major players – pharmaceuticals, oil and banking. The first is the only one that has been growing at around 20% a year in the last decade. The pharmaceutical lobby is three times as powerful as that of oil, although oil has a bigger turnover. In some ways COVID-19 provided large scale clinical trials for the m.Rna type vaccine.

In 2018, Moderna who never brought a product to market in eleven years, only producing the COVID-19 vaccine in the pandemic, opened a $110 million manufacturing site allegedly for its mRna program in what was called “a highly anticipated program” thus “enabling us to leverage the potential of our mRna platform…”. According to their CEO at that time the company claimed to be working on: “an entirely new class of medicines that direct the body’s cells to produce intracellular or secreted proteins that can have a therapeutic or preventative benefit”.

Moderna was working in both cancer research coupled with vaccines and a personalized cancer vaccine, designated for individual treatment programs. As I suspected the patents must involve these further uses and hence the secrecy that the journal Nature criticized them for. Once again, I can’t think the NHS (British taxpayer) will pay for individual treatment plans costing £80,000 per patient, when there are not enough doctors and nurses to deliver such a program or funding. Neither will poorer countries have any hope of delivering such treatments. Perhaps the company is working on one vaccine for the poor and the individual treatment plan for the privately funded rich?

I am not a financial analyst, but from what I can glean from company accounts, Merck & Co., invested $100 million in cash and stock in Moderna in 2015 and then another whopping $125 million three years later, when the term mRna was unknown outside biotech circles. Thanks to COVID-19 the public is now aware of mRna. I doubt however that the general public understands the role of mRna or how the various vaccines work and how pandemics arise.

The idea of using mRna or messenger Rna to spur cells in the body into making therapeutic proteins, or antibodies, thereby increasing the immune response to the virus or infection, although considered novel, is another form of Coley’s Toxins developed in the 19th Century. Evidently the huge investment that Merck made in Moderna, illustrated they recognized the huge potential of mRna and presumably its application to a cancer vaccine – immuno-oncology. Merck’s agreement included the cancer vaccine mRna-5671, which as of 2020 was in clinical trials, to be used in combination with a Merck immuno-oncology product. Moderna’s mRna vaccine was in a race with Pfizer BioNTech’s mRna vaccine (BNT 162b2). It won’t solve the problem of cancer, but it will make huge profits for Big Pharma.

According to annual reports AstraZenica the British/Swedish biotech company, sold its entire 7.65% stake in Moderna for about $1bn, but continued to collaborate on mRna Research and Development of cancer vaccines as did Merck & Co., who also disclosed it had sold off its direct Moderna holdings.

From what I can see corporate business is no different from the banks and stock market, with an ethos of ‘buy low, sell high’. Gambling on the next big Tech thing whether it’s ESG compliant or not. A senior U.S. health official accused Pfizer of “war profiteering” during the pandemic in a Channel 4 (U.K.) Dispatches investigation. Zain Rizvi, research director at Public Citizen, a U.S. consumer advocacy organization, which examined Pfizer’s global vaccine contracts said: “There is a wall of secrecy surrounding these contracts and its unacceptable, particularly in a public health crisis.”

Large sections of the British government’s contract with Pfizer to supply 189 million vaccine doses have been redacted, allowing any arbitration proceedings to be kept secret according to Rizvi. If the British Taxpayer, actually paid for the vaccines and not “the government” surely the Taxpayer has a legal right to view unredacted contracts, given the high price of the vaccine and the various web of sub-contracts with other companies, which might reveal the Taxpayer also contributed to funding of the research. According to Rizvi: “It’s (British) the only high-income country we have seen that has agreed to the provision. It allows pharmaceutical companies to by-pass the domestic legal process. The U.K. government has allowed the drug firms to call the shots. How did we end up in a situation where a handful of drug firms were able to exert so much control over the most powerful governments in the world? It points to a broken system.” I can say from horrific experience, woe betide anyone who tries to change that “system”.

The Channel 4 program also revealed the cost of producing one shot of the Pfizer vaccine was 76 pence, but was sold to the British government for £22. The estimated manufacturing costs do not include research or distribution. In the entwined financial affairs of these companies, it is important to find out who actually paid for research and whether that came from Taxpayers.

Of particular interest was the public/private partnership between the U.S. government (Feds) and Moderna. Less than a year after Moderna gained FDA authorization for its vaccine, the relationship with the Feds turned sour. Under the Biden administration, a battle over patent rights is simmering, where Moderna claims the patents belong to them as they invested in the COVID-19 vaccine. The NIH (National Institute of Health) claims three of its scientists created key elements of the vaccine. The U.S. government at the outset of the pandemic provided funding to Moderna to the tune of $1.4 billion. The three research scientists from NIH Vaccine Research Centre – John Mascola, M.D., Kizzmekia Corbett and Barney Graham, M.D., in claiming to be involved in the research, raises the question of ownership of the patents and share of profits, whether the government i.e. the Taxpayers or Moderna.

Moderna’s Q3 profit before tax for nine months ending September 30, 2021 was $7.8 bn on $11.2 bn revenue giving a pre-tax profit margin of 70%. The company projected 2021 total sales to be “between $15 bn and $18 bn”. The vaccine is Moderna’s only commercial product, but there is expectation of application of mRna technology to immune-oncology vaccines and sky- high profits.

Moderna’s dispute with the Feds is not the only patent battle in which Moderna is engaged in. The company is seeking to invalidate two patents owned by Arbutus Biopharma a Pennsylvanian company, which may be in a position to sue Moderna for infringement of its drug-delivery technology.

Both Merck and Astra Zenica terminated their stakes in Moderna, allegedly in 2020, where Astra Zenica made $1 bn. Merck had previously invested approximately $183 million in Moderna, allegedly mostly in connection with a cancer vaccine. Astra Zenica it appears still retains two collaborative Research and Development programs with Moderna dating back to 2013, which includes the mRna cancer drug (MED11191).

The flu virus claims up to half a million lives each year. We are informed that over two years from the start of the epidemic in March 2020, to January 2022, COVID-19 has caused 150.000 deaths in the U.K. If we assume the half a million mortality figures for flu are fairly constant, then in a two- year period the flu virus would claim 1 million lives. The total cancer deaths in the U.K. for 2020 according to the Office of National Statistics (U.K.) was 147,407. Statistics can be ‘massaged’ to suit political purposes. It has been calculated that the flu virus causes the loss of six million working days annually. The reported deaths for COVID-19 have not been broken down into categories such as age, underlying health conditions etc., which could identify flagging immune systems.

The politicians keep repeating the mantra of “learning to live with COVID-19” comparing it to flu. Given the speed at which vaccines for COVID-19 were created the question is why hasn’t a universal flu vaccine been produced with comparable urgency? A universal flu vaccine would provide protection from any mutant or new form of the virus. Flu vaccines have been developed on the immune response method i.e. a sample is killed, leaving the large proteins on their surface, called haemagglutinin, intact. These proteins are the important part of the vaccine and when injected they stimulate the body’s immune system by increasing antibody response to the virus.

The antibodies are also proteins and recognize a specific region of the haemagglutinin – the head, and bind to it and block the virus from attaching to and infecting the cells of the body. The vaccine ensures that if a person subsequently encounters the virus, their immune system is already primed to recognize and disable the virus. The virus is remembered if you like. There is nothing sinister in a vaccine of this type and in some viral diseases they have proved a success story. Cancer however is not a viral disease at causation although with a flagging immune system, various micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses can take hold in 13 -15% of patients.

As is evident in the COVID-19 virus the haemagglutinin head, also known as the antigen, can continually change e.g. the omicron mutation. The mutations that occur in the head in the case of flu means Big Pharma produces billions of flu vaccine doses each year, based on the prevalent strains i.e. changes or mutations in the head of the virus. These mutations in the head are not the lethal pandemic causing mutations and as we noted the COVID-19 variant – omicron, is not particularly lethal in those who do not have underlying conditions or in the young, with symptoms more akin to seasonal flu. Again, small change variants are only a danger in people with underlying health conditions and those with flagging immune systems, which some older people exhibit – but not all since stress, dietary factors and life style choices come into play including poverty.

Minimal changes in the head is called antigenic drift, and these changes result in seasonal flu, which the natural immune system (if healthy) can fight off easily. The flu vaccine is recommended as has been the case with COVID-19, for older people or those with underlying health conditions in order to boost immunity. Pandemic flu arises when viruses change whole proteins and the immune system simply does not recognize this new virus. This was the case with “Spanish Flu”, also known as the Great Influenza epidemic or the 1918 influenza pandemic, which was an exceptionally deadly global influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. Swine Flu virus in 2009 was estimated to have killed over 290,000 people.

In prior Blogs I explained how pandemics arise, which can be illustrated with the case of the flu virus. Many influenza viruses are circulating in aquatic animals, birds and pigs. Pandemics occur when the viruses exchange genes i.e. genetic material and jump the species barrier to humans, which is termed antigenic shift as opposed to drift. In the case of COVID-19, I discussed in prior Blogs, whether pangolins and/or bats were the animals linked in the chain, or whether experiments were behind a laboratory escape. Scientists know pandemics are caused by antigenic shift and yet, as I noted there has been no forensic investigation or will to locate the cause of the pandemic.

When a virus has undergone dramatic changes due to antigenic shift, it can be very dangerous to humans, where the immune system has not encountered this genetic variant before and consequently has not remembered it and so the immune system may not react with antibodies. Again, this brings in my research on Coley’s Toxins in The Cancer Files.

Diagram to show how antigenic shift from genetic re-combinations can create a pandemic in humans, where the new
strain of the virus is not recognized by the immune system

When under attack, the body not only targets viruses and pathogens using antibodies, it also uses a type of cell found in the bloodstream called T cells. These cells identify cells that have been infected by a virus or malignant cells and destroy them. Vaccines aim to stimulate both the antibody and T cell response. A healthy immune system is competent with fighting viruses it remembers, but the case of a new virus is different, as the immune system has not encountered the strain or mutation before and hence the viruses caused by antigenic shift can be dangerous and cause pandemics.

The immune response to antigenic drift or small mutations is that the body creates broadly neutralizing antibodies. Usually viruses that have small changes in the head region do not need a change of vaccine, but it has been the case that every year Big Pharma changes the vaccine and boosters can also be employed and again this is highly profitable.

Viruses contain a nucleoprotein inside their structure and just below their outer lipid (fat) membrane there is a layer of matrix protein. The idea of a universal vaccine is based on one that primes T-cells not to recognize the haemagglutinin head which keeps changing, but instead to recognize two less changeable proteins i.e. nucleoprotein and matrix protein. Also, a vaccine could contain antibodies that recognize the stem region of the ‘lollipop’ shaped structure and not the haemagglutinin changing head. The stem is very similar in different strains of the virus and so one could with a universal vaccine protect against different strains, without having to invent new vaccines every time the head changed i.e. a one- shot vaccine. Has there been a delay in researching and producing such a vaccine, because it threatens profits?

There is the prospect then of being able to develop one shot vaccines for flu and COVID-19, where broadly neutralizing antibodies target the familiar part of the various strains i.e. the stem. Scientists have had plenty of time to develop a universal flu vaccine and after the first SARS outbreak should have been alerted to coronaviruses. The severity of the initial first wave of COVID-19 points to antigenic shift and the involvement of a new strain of coronavirus with animal source(s) where I suggested bat and/or pangolin.

Flu virus structure: The stem region i.e. the ‘stick’ end of the ‘lollipop’ structure attached to the hemagglutinin head is similar among different strains of the virus and can be used therefore to produce a universal vaccine. The hemagglutinin head changes for different strains.

I was not convinced that booster shots were needed for COVID-19 in the short time frame determined by government and wondered whether the frenzy the government went into over boosters, had something to do with the redacted contracts. Researchers have previously looked at the period of time over which immunity lapses. Writing in Science Translational Medicine, they tracked 40 people aged 35 to 70 over a 20- year period to see how the immune system changes over a lifetime of exposure to flu viruses. Blood samples showed people exposed to the 1957 H2N2 (“Asian Flu”) and 1977 H1N1 (“Russian flu”) pandemic flu strains had 3.8 times more broadly neutralizing antibodies than those who had only encountered H1N1. The immune system had then remembered the 1957 and 1977 infections not from the changing head but the stem.  The H2N2 pandemic happened over half a century ago, so the results of the study indicate that exposure to viruses with very unusual heads cause a long-term increase of broadly neutralizing antibodies, which may well apply to COVID-19.

In my view people have been led to believe that vaccines, including boosters prevent contracting or passing on the virus, but that is a false view. The vaccine only raises the immune response of the person to the virus.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed Big Pharma mammon, but also an extremely ugly political slide of ethics into mammon. The Taxpayer in the U.K. pays for The National Health Service (NHS) and yet there is no forensic oversight of contracts and waste or prosecutions.  How much for instance did former U.K health minister Matt Hancock’s vanity scheme of a track and trace failed App cost, believing he was more tech savvy than Google or Apple? Not to mention a certain government contract with his ex-pub landlord for medical supplies. In January 2022, it emerged that Conservative Peer Michelle Mone and her husband were secretly involved in a PPE business that was awarded more than £200m in government contracts. The House of Lords has become a cronyism paradise. Let us not forget whose paying for all this – The Taxpayer where having paid exorbitant prices for the drugs, which he may have financed the research for, pays a third time in that taxes are about to rise, along with energy costs and inflation, with devastating results for the poor. I would like to further discuss incompetence and the costs of that to the public e.g. HS2, the Marble Arch Mound and one-man disasters in Brexit – Chris Grayling, David Davis etc., but the history of political incompetence is too lengthy to discuss here.

There has been a trail of stories in U.K. media of donors to political parties, MPs expenses, offshore tax evasion, cronyism, lobbying and second jobs of MPs, where pockets are being lined and it appears doctors are not opposed to taking kick-backs from Big Pharma. Oh, what a lovely ‘war’ COVID-19 has been for some, whilst the coffins filled up. A lot of people have made money out of the pandemic, including those on the lower scale end of thievery, who scammed the government furlough and business loans schemes – how are prosecutions going for that? Who pays for it all? – The hard-pressed Taxpayer – those who don’t hold money offshore, most of whom are JAMS, an acronym for “just about managing”.

Major General Smedley Butler (1881-1940), was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. To quote him from a speech made in 1933:

“War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses…It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives…”.

 “The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits – ah! That is another matter – twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent – the sky is the limit.”

Brace yourselves for the next ‘war’ and vaccine bonanza – the “war on cancer”.

The books and Blogs of Renee Henry are copyrighted, if use is sought please enquire

(1) R. Henry, S. McLean: A Theory for Cancer based on a study of Cancer Patients Using The Gerson Therapy in Conjunction with Psychological Counselling. Complementary Medical Research Spring 1989, Vol. 3 No.2 – The Karnak Charitable Trust ( peer review -Southampton University).

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