The project is part of Amazon's "Grand Challenge" group, a research and development arm under AWS, Amazon's cloud division, that employs more than 100 people, according to CNBC. A small group of scientists and technologists within the group are aiming to build a vaccine for the common cold, referred to as "Project Gesundheit, CNBC reported, citing three people familiar with the project who were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
The Grand Challenge team is tasked with solving really big problems and is run by Babak Parviz, who previously worked at Alphabet’s R&D group formerly known as Google X. The team hasn’t been publicly acknowledged by Amazon, but CNBC first reported on it in 2017.
The common cold is estimated to cost the U.S. economy billions per year, but is especially difficult to eliminate because there are 160 known strains of the cold, and the virus (rhinovirus) is especially prone to mutation.
Amazon shares were down 1.57% on Friday to $1,893.85.