Success in the fight against Corona – Pharma reports vaccine breakthrough, stock exchanges shoot up

An active ingredient should offer protection of more than 90 percent. Biontech and Pfizer report that. The markets react extremely, Donald Trump rejoices.

Positive data: A vaccine from two companies gives hope in the fight against Covid.

Reuters

For the first time, there are interim results from the study phase that is decisive for approval for a corona vaccine that is relevant for Europe. The German company Biontech and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced on Monday that their vaccine offers more than 90 percent protection against the disease Covid-19.

Serious side effects were not registered. Biontech and the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer are expected to apply for approval from the US FDA from next week. “This is the first evidence that Covid-19 can be prevented by a vaccine in humans,” said Biontech boss Ugur Sahin to Reuters. A “decisive milestone” for the control of Covid-19 has been reached.

Accelerated process

The vaccine BNT162b2 had been developed by Biontech in the “Lighspeed” project since mid-January. The phase 3 study, which is crucial for approval, began in various countries at the end of July. In the meantime, more than 43,500 people have received at least one of the two vaccinations, which are given every three weeks. According to the manufacturer, vaccination protection is achieved one week after the second injection.

In the study, a total of 94 cases of the disease were confirmed by Sunday. According to the information, the results will only be finally evaluated when a total of 164 cases have been reached. In addition, it will be checked to what extent the vaccination not only protects against Covid-19, but also against severe courses of the disease. Overall, both the protective effect and any side effects should be observed over a period of two years.

The companies did not break down exactly how many of the sick people received the vaccine. According to the effectiveness rate, however, eight or fewer of the 94 cases of illness must have been recorded in the group with the vaccinated participants and the remainder in the control group, which received a placebo.

An accelerated approval process applies to the corona vaccine due to its particular urgency. Pharmaceutical manufacturers can submit individual parts on the quality, safety and effectiveness of a preparation to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) even before the complete application for approval. In addition to Biontech, the British-Swedish company Astrazeneca started such a rolling review process for its vaccine candidate some time ago. Astrazeneca has not yet released any Phase III data. Nothing can be said about the schedule, said a spokeswoman on Monday.

50 million cans by the end of the year

The Biontech preparation is a so-called RNA vaccine. It contains genetic information about the pathogen, from which the body produces a virus protein – in this case the surface protein that the virus uses to enter cells. The aim of vaccination is to stimulate the body to produce antibodies against this protein in order to intercept the viruses before they enter the cells and multiply.

Biontech and Pfizer expect to be able to provide up to 50 million vaccine doses worldwide this year and up to 1.3 billion doses in the coming year. Numerous governments have pre-secured millions of doses of the vaccine, including the US, Japan and the UK.

Countries like Russia, China and recently Bahrain have already released other vaccines with restrictions and are already vaccinating parts of the population with them. But how well these vaccinations actually protect and what side effects they can have is currently largely open.

Spahn cautious, Trump is happy

The German Minister of Health Jens Spahn said he was pleased that a German company was ready. However, since there could always be setbacks in vaccine development, the government is more cautious that a vaccine will not be available until the first quarter of 2021.

There was less reluctance on the stock exchanges: The news about the corona vaccine made them cheer worldwide. The Swiss benchmark index SMI has meanwhile shot up to over 10,600 points. The last time it was quoted higher in February. At around 1:25 p.m., the SMI gained 2.2 percent to 10,567 points.

All over Europe there is a fireworks display on the stock exchange. In Germany, for example, the plus of 4.5 percent to over 13,000 points is even greater than in Switzerland. The SMI is much more defensive than the Dax. The leading Eurozone index EuroStoxx 50 gains 4.9 percent to 3362.09 points and there is also a steep rise in Paris, London, Milan and Madrid.

In the morning, the stock exchanges had risen sharply in response to the outcome of the US presidential elections. With Joe Biden’s victory, a major element of uncertainty has disappeared. Cyclical and financial stocks in particular benefited from this.

The news is also causing movement on the currency front: both the euro and the dollar have gained against the franc. The exchange rate of the European common currency climbed again above 1.07 francs to 1.0723 francs and the dollar jumped the 0.90 franc mark.

sda/reuters

Posted today at 1:21 pm

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