SOUTH KOREA, SEOUL, July 14 – German biotech company BioNTech hopes to get approval for its COVID19 vaccine and distribute hundreds of millions of doses before the end of the year, its CEO said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
The German company has teamed up with U.S. giant Pfizer and China’s Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceuticals to produce more than a billion doses of the covid19 vaccine globally by 2021.
Ugur Sahin, CEO of BionNTech, hopes to be able to receive approval to start Phase 3, the most crucial clinical trials, in late July with some 30,000 randomly chosen people.
The manager, the son of Turkish immigrants who arrived in Germany, hopes that this stage in the development of the vaccine against the SARS-Cov-2 virus will be completed by the end of the year, at which time they would begin the efforts to obtain authorization from regulators in all the world.
“Our first data shows that the vaccine candidate can produce antibodies at higher levels than in people who have recovered from the infection,” Sahin told the Wall Street Journal.
The German company hopes to be able to begin mass-producing the vaccine once it is certain that it is effective and safe in humans even while awaiting regulatory approval.
Sahin estimates that guaranteeing immunity against COVID-19 around the world can take about ten years, since in his opinion that protection will only come “when more than 90% of the world population has been immunized, through infection or vaccine”.
BioNTech will use messenger RNA or mRNA to promote the production of certain proteins that generate antibodies against a virus.
These types of vaccines are easier to produce and the German company hopes to obtain a first batch of the covid19 vaccine in a period of between 9 and 11 days.
The company has as shareholders, among others, Pfizer, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sanofi, and a unit of Roche Holding.
In his interview, Sahin acknowledged that not only the scientific, logistical and bureaucratic part of vaccine production will be important, but also popular acceptance.
BioNTech joins a race for the vaccine against COVID-19 that among the private initiative has among its main applicants Moderna, AstraZena and Johnson & Johnson.
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