BioNTech: What is the impact of other age groups?
BioNTech ($BNTX) and pharmaceutical partner Pfizer ($PFE) started the registration study for a corona vaccine in July 2020. Initially, the COVID-19 vaccine candidate would be tested on up to 30,000 participants between the ages of 18 and 85. Meanwhile, BioNTech and Pfizer have received FDA approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration to include additional populations. With this, the FDA has decided that young people aged 12 and older could also participate in the eventual effectiveness study.
This is an interesting development that BioNTech and Pfizer report, because it can better capture the potential effectiveness and safety of the vaccine in people of different age groups. In September 2020, the two pharmaceutical companies had already decided to expand the tests to approximately 44,000 participants.
Almost 38,000 participants have been enrolled in the study, spread over 120 study centers around the world. A large majority, approximately 31,000 participants, have already received a second vaccination dose. An important fact here is that 42% of the participants is older than 56 years, being part of the risk group.
The two companies are among the most promising in the search for an effective vaccine against the coronavirus. Last week, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) started the submission process for the mRNA vaccine from the two partners. Earlier this week, BioNTech and Pfizer announced that their BNT162b2 has been accepted for ongoing review by Health Canada, the country’s healthcare regulatory body.
BioNTech, Pfizer and CureVac are what we now call Messenger RNA (mRNA) 1.0 companies. The mRNAs are active in both cancer cells and non-cancer cells and they work very well in vaccination. Thanks to the expertise and science surrounding the mRNA (which shows similarities in studies during the vaccine race), these pharmacists are among the leaders for an approved and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
CureVac: Does money equals higher expectations?
CureVac ($CVAC) has announced that it plans to invest large sums of money for mass production of the vaccine. 88 million euros will be spent on the new production facilities. The pharmaceutical company expects a completely new factory to be operational in 2022 to realize this mass production. The existing factories need to be converted at the same time, which equates to scaling up production of the vaccine that runs into the hundreds of millions.
This announcement should encourage investors to stay on board. Recent figures and charts show that shareholders are currently more cautious with the share. At the beginning of the new month, the courses were able to recover visibly. This changed this week in a negative sense, although we speak of exchange losses of less than 0.5%.
With its expertise, CureVac works on the development and optimization of this versatile molecule for medical use. The principle of the patented CureVac technology is, as mentioned earlier, based on the use of mRNA technology. This serves as an information carrier to guide the human body to produce the correspondingly encoded proteins, with which to combat a variety of diseases. The company is using its technologies in addition to the COVID-19 to develop prophylactic vaccines, cancer therapies, antibody therapies and protein therapy.
What is the current advantage?
The competitor AstraZeneca is already testing its vaccine candidate in a study in the United Kingdom in children aged between 5 and 12 years. The other leading competitors such as Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Novavax are only testing their vaccines on adults.
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