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Corona: German company Biontech is at the top in the race for a vaccine

2020-12-03T07:46:04.380Z

Scientists around the world are working flat out to find an answer to the corona pandemic. A German company is one of the leading companies: Biontech from Mainz.



Scientists around the world are working flat out to find an answer to the corona pandemic.

A German company is one of the leading companies: Biontech from Mainz.

  • Scientists around the world are looking for a vaccine against

    corona

    .

  • If all goes well, the first

    vaccinations

    could

    start in the next few weeks.

  • The Mainz company

    Biontech is one of

    the leading companies

    .

Mainz - Last year the Mainz biotechnology company

Biontech was

still largely unknown - now it has

blossomed

into a global

beacon of

hope in the fight against the

corona

pandemic.

Together with the US pharmaceutical giant

Pfizer

,

Biontech

developed

a vaccine against the virus that is more than 90 percent effective.

After the application for emergency approval of the corona vaccine with the US Food and Drug Administration just under two weeks ago,

Biontech

and

Pfizer

also

applied for

such accelerated approval from the European Medicines Agency (

EMA

).

It would be the first time ever that the company, founded by two children of Turkish immigrants and based on Mainzer Strasse “An der Goldgrube”, would bring a product onto the market.

Biontech: Immigrant children set up biotech companies

Founded

BioNTech

in 2008 by scientists

Ugur Sahin

and his wife

Özlem Türeci

, together with the Austrian cancer researcher

Christoph Huber

.

Before the corona pandemic, the company's around 1,500 employees worked on new immunotherapies for cancer patients based on so-called

mRNA

technology.

The genetic blueprint for modified virus components is injected into the body.

Cells absorb this genetic information and use it to produce harmless pathogen parts, to which the immune system reacts.

It stores the immune response that later protects against a real infection.

Biontech

also

relied

on this technology

when developing a corona vaccine.

The advantage over traditional vaccines is not least that they can be developed more quickly.

The 54-year-old company founder Sahin recognized his opportunity back in January after the news about the novel virus in the Chinese city of

Wuhan

startled the world.

When the virus had spread over large parts of the world by March and caused massive restrictions on public life,

Biontech

already had 20 vaccine candidates, as Sahin told "Spiegel".

Biontech: Federal government funds vaccine development with millions

The scientists then sorted out the less promising vaccines.

In September the federal government

jumped

in on

Biontech

: from a special program, the company was awarded 375 million euros for the development of a vaccine.

It ended up with a handful of vaccines, including the candidate named BNT162b2, which the company says is over 90 percent effective.

Biontech

is

now benefiting from

a partnership with the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which was concluded in 2018.

The cooperation was originally launched with a view to flu vaccines.

In the wake of the pandemic and the global search for an antidote, the two companies expanded their collaboration in March.

The goal: to

combine Biontech's technology

with Pfizer's experience and strength.

Biontech: Faster time to market for vaccine through collaboration with Pfizer

Even if Pfizer in particular made headlines abroad with the corona vaccine, Sahin emphasized in “Der Spiegel”: “It's our technology.” By working with Pfizer, however, a vaccine can be developed and distributed in a very short time.

The vaccination doses required are enormous.

Biontech

and Pfizer

estimate

that they could

deliver

50 million doses this year and 1.3 billion doses the following year.

We are submitting our first request for an #EUA in the US for vaccine candidate # BNT162b2 against # covid19.

We look forward to continuously providing data to various regulatory authorities as part of our rolling review process - including the @EMA_News.

https://t.co/Lk7MTlwE5R pic.twitter.com/OjZ2IxiU3a

- BioNTech SE (@BioNTech_Group) November 20, 2020

In order to be able to cope with these quantities, the Mainz-based company had already

taken over

a production facility of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant

Novartis

in

Marburg

in September

.

In total,

Biontech

has three production facilities in Germany.

There are also at least four Pfizer plants in the USA.

Biontech: Biotech company is also targeting the Chinese market

Meanwhile,

Biontech is

also looking to China.

The Mainz-based company signed a contract with the Shanghai-based pharmaceutical group

Fosun

, which exclusively secured the right to bring the long-awaited vaccine to China.

(

AFP

)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2020-12-03

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