Corona vaccine: CureVac, BioNTech and IDT Biologika receive money from the federal government. Who are these German pharmaceutical companies?
- The world and Germany hope for you Corona vaccine.
- The federal government is supporting three German pharmaceutical companies in vaccine development.
- Pharmaceutical companies could apply: BioNTech, CureVac and IDT Biologika receive millions from a special program.
Munich – Looking for one Corona vaccine a race has broken out in the world. For one, it’s about having an effective vaccine against that Coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 On the other hand, the production and then the distribution of the cans must be ensured. Worldwide is getting loud WHO (Draft landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines, as of September 9, 2020) researched about 170 vaccines – almost nine vaccine candidates are in the third and final test phase. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s daughter was vaccinated with the vaccine called “Sputnik V”. The vaccine was released to the general public in August before major tests were completed.
Corona vaccine: BioNTech, CureVac and IDT Biologika
Research teams and pharmaceutical companies are also working on a vaccine in Germany and have come a long way. The federal government has now assured three companies that they will support the corona vaccine development worth millions: The German pharmaceutical companies BioNTech and CureVac should receive millions from the special program as well as the company IDT biologics from Dessau-Rosslau.
The main thing in developing the vaccine is safety. According to Health Minister Jens Spahn, there will be no abbreviations for approval. “Safety has absolute priority,” said Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) at a press conference when the program was presented in Berlin. The companies should use the money to build production facilities and accelerate their clinical test series. The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) was involved in the selection. The Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedical Drugs is based in Hessen. Already expressed himself in the spring PEI President Klaus Cichut positive about a corona vaccine. When asked how effective a vaccine against Sars-CoV-2 must be, Cichut replied: “If approved, the risk-benefit balance must be positive.”
|Companies||Vaccine type||Location||Name of the vaccine|
|BioNTech||Gene based vaccine mRNA||Mainz||BNT162b1|
|CureVac||Gene based vaccine mRNA||Tubingen||CVnCoV|
|IDT biologics||Vector vaccine||Dessau-Rosslau|
BioNTech and CureVac have already started clinical studies and are close to the goal. The two companies are already known to many. Both companies rely on vaccines based on Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) – too mRNA vaccines and are regularly in the headlines. Jens Spahn describes the third company IDT Biologika as “a pearl” in Germany and yet is unknown to many. In the fight against Covid-19, the company relies on one Vector vaccine.
Corona vaccine from BioNTech
BioNTech based in Mainz has teamed up with the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer (USA) and Fosun Pharma (China). They are testing an RNA-based Covid-19 vaccine BNT162b1 in China. The studies of phase II and III take place at the same time (BioNTech phase 3). The Mainz biotech company is one of the greatest hopes in the fight against Corona. BioNTech can also test a successful vaccine candidate in Germany.
The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) approved the corresponding clinical study of the so-called second and third phases in early September. The study in Germany is part of the global study that was started by Biontech and Pfizer in July 2020. The clinical study is running in around 120 study centers around the world. So far, according to the information, more than 25,000 test subjects have participated. “A large, controlled phase 3 study is an essential prerequisite for unequivocally demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine,” said BioNTech co-founder Ugur Sahin. If the clinical studies are successful, BionTech is aiming for market approval in October.
Corona vaccine from CureVac
CureVac is in the running for the Corona vaccine at the front. The Tübingen-based company, which is based in the Netherlands, also uses a vaccine with the messenger ribonucleic acid – mRNA for short. The study is in phase I and II at the same time (CureVac Phase I and II) (As of September 15). Several investors have invested in CureVac in the past few months. Germany also entered in June with 300 million euros. In mid-July, the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) bought shares in the company for around 150 million euros. A few weeks ago the biotech company went public in the USA. Dietmar Hopp is the majority owner of CureVac. According to CureVac, the vaccine will initially be manufactured in its own facilities in Tübingen. At the beginning of July, the auto company Tesla announced that it would be working with CureVac. With the money from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) wants CureVac, as can be read on the company’s website, to further expand vaccine production.
Corona vaccine from IDT Biologika
IDT biologics has developed a new vaccine against Sars-CoV-2 together with scientists from the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF). Researchers of the Ludwig–Maximilians–University of Munich (LMU Munich), the Philipps University of Marburg and des University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE Hamburg) are involved. The corona vaccine is based loudly IDT Biologika company website on the “Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara” (MVA), which was developed as a vaccine against smallpox more than 30 years ago. This vaccine is well tolerated and has already been used successfully against the MERS coronavirus. The MERS coronavirus, which is closely related to Sars-CoV-2, occurs on the Arabian Peninsula and is transmitted to humans by dromedaries with often fatal consequences, explains IDT-Biologika. The family company in Dessau has almost 100 years of experience in the development of vaccines. Despite all the history, the company in Saxony-Anhalt is considered to be extremely innovative. IDT-Biologika is already filling a potential corona vaccine, quickly for a clinical study. In the first step – phase I – the vaccine will be tested at UKE Hamburg on healthy volunteers between 18 and 45 years of age. The clinical study is led by Prof. Marylyn Addo.
Corona vaccine: Approval expires in three stages – normally
A vaccination is supposed to protect the body from viruses and bacteria. The immune system should recognize and fight the “enemy” before it makes us sick. Getting a new vaccine approved is a huge task. It takes years and is a lengthy process that is noisy Deutschlandfunk takes place in three phases:
- Clinical studies – Phase I.: In phase I the Security of the agent tested on a small group of volunteers. It’s about short-term side effects
- Clinical studies – Phase II: In Phase II, the vaccine will be applied to hundreds of test subjects correct dose and the Effect on the immune system tested.
- Clinical Study – Phase III: In Phase III, the vaccine will then be given to thousands of volunteers. At the same time, there must be a control group whose participants are not vaccinated. The result of the effectiveness of a vaccine must be statistically proven. After an observation period it must also be evaluated whether no or fewer people in the vaccination group were infected than in the control group. Keyword “immune response”.
Coronavirus continues to spread: Corona vaccine approval
When all the data are available, the pharmaceutical companies apply for approval from the authorities. In Germany that’s for that Paul Ehrlich Institute responsible in Frankfurt.
PEI President Prof. Klaus Cichutek at the # Federal press conference: “The approval depends very much on the course of the phase III study. No compromises are made here in terms of safety, only a carefully checked one #Vaccine will be available to the people. ” pic.twitter.com/8xVfOt0EyV
– Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) (@PEI_Germany) September 15, 2020
Corona: what is a vector vaccine?
For the so-called vector vaccine, genetic material from the coronavirus is introduced into another harmless virus as a carrier. These viruses cannot multiply. After an injection of the vector vaccine, the body reacts. The genetic information that has been smuggled into the immune system simulates an infection and, for example, stimulates the production of antibodies.
Corona: what is an mRNA vaccine?
With the mRNA vaccine, parts of the virus genome are supplied to the body in the form of nucleic acids. The body can produce antibodies based on this mRNA.
It usually takes years to develop a safe and effective vaccine. Just to determine the pathogen and find out where a vaccination could even start. With Sars-CoV-2, the genetic sequence was quickly available. It was known from related coronaviruses such as Sars and Mers that the typical crown spikes – spike proteins – are particularly important in a vaccine. These spiky structures are at the heart of vaccine development. The Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus needs these spike proteins on its surface in order to dock on and infect human cells.
Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek and Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (both CDU) are initially confident that a corona vaccine will be available in the coming year.