The creators of the new vaccine against coronavirus will become billionaires

The creators of the new vaccine against coronavirus will become billionaires
News

10 November , 17:08
Politics
Photo: spiegel.de
After the announcement of the pharmaceutical company BioNtech and the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer that their vaccine provides more than 90% protection against covid, European exchanges have exploded. But the main winner was a small company in the center of Germany, which has not yet produced a single drug.

The securities of the perpetrators of the first positive news on the exchanges in the last 9 months went up very strongly - the pharmaceutical group Pfizer went up in price by 12%, and the small BioNtech - by as much as 26%. The Mainz facility is now more expensive than Deutsche Bank, the country's largest bank, although at the end of last year it employed no more than 1,000 people, Der Spiegel writes. Next week, the consortium will apply for registration with the FDA , the American counterpart of Russia's State Sanitary Inspection. By the end of the year, the creators of the vaccine expect to release 50 million doses. And in 2021 - 1.3 billion doses.

Biontek releases its vaccine before many in Europe and America, and this is what it owes to its founders Uguru Sakhin and Uzlema Tyurechi. The husband and wife, who come from the families of Turkish guest workers, both in their fifties, decided in mid-January to start releasing a vaccine against covid, although at that time there was not a single confirmed case in Europe. There was no particular reason for this decision, because the company they created in 2008 was actually looking for drugs against cancer. Scientists were working on 20 vaccines when the German government contemplated quarantining in March 2020.

In March, Biontek signed an agreement with the American concern Pfizer, which has the know-how and the capacity to produce hundreds of millions of vaccine doses. At the end of April, the consortium began clinical trials. Out of 20 candidates, scientists left 2 vaccines.

90% protection against the virus is encouraging, since the US administration is ready to issue a license at 50% protection, and the European one at 75%. 90% protection means the vaccine will help in severe cases. How well it will prevent the spread of the disease, there is no open data yet, probably less than 90, Spiegel suggests. It is not yet clear when the drug will be approved in Europe. The creators of the vaccine did not submit all the data immediately, as is usually accepted, but as they become available - in parts. Therefore, it may happen that the American authorities will issue a permit faster than the European ones.

For 1.5 billion doses declared, contracts have been concluded with the USA, Japan, Canada. The EU today signed an agreement for 200 million doses of the vaccine. Germany will conclude a separate agreement in the coming days.

Currently, 64 vaccines from different countries are under European licensing.

The Pfizer deal gave Biontek guarantees for the vaccine to be mass-produced. But the Germans will have to seriously share their economic success with the Americans.

If the vaccine is successful, Bintec will receive $ 748 million. The German company will share marketing revenue of $ 3.5 billion with the American concern. Analysts say this is not enough - the deal with the first vaccine will bring significantly more.

In fact, if successful, the company will earn significantly more than it could have dreamed of in the entire history of its existence - out of 20 developments that the company was engaged in, not a single drug received a license to use.

But Biontek was lucky - among the investors they have the Strüngmann brothers, who themselves created the pharmaceutical company - the manufacturer of generics Hexal and then sold it to the Novartis concern for 6.5 billion euros in 2005. It was they who invested 150 million euros in Biontek.

This investment paid off - at today's rate, the brothers earned 10 billion euros from Biontek. Thomas Strüngmann hopes the vaccine will be available late this year, or early 2021 at the latest.

And Ugur Sakhin, the son of a Ford factory worker, became a billionaire. He owns 18% of the shares. Yesterday he became richer by 3.5 billion euros.

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