Dozens of companies and public labs around the world are working to develop a vaccine to prevent the spread of the flu-like virus. Over the last 48 hours, three biotech companies, in particular, have been thrust into the spotlight for their promise: BioNTech, CureVac and Moderna.

All three of these firms specialize in messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics. These mRNA molecules are used to instruct the body to produce its own immune response to fight a range of different diseases. This type of vaccine can potentially be developed and produced more quickly than traditional vaccines…

However, the jury is still out on what type of therapeutic approach will work best. Barclays pharmaceutical research team noted that while mRNA vaccines remain unproven, they are likely to dominate the shorter-term headlines given faster development timelines and rapid early progress.