Sinovac-News: Doubts about the Chinese corona vaccine

Sinovac vaccine

Turkey has issued emergency approval to the Chinese pharmaceutical company’s agent.

(Photo: AP)

Sao Paulo, Istanbul, Peking, Bangkok The needle of the vaccination syringe stuck in the upper arm of Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo for nine seconds. For this moment, which initiated the start of the coronavirus vaccination campaign in the Southeast Asian island nation on Wednesday, Indonesian TV channels even interrupted their current programs.

“It doesn’t hurt at all,” said the President with a smile. An employee demonstratively held up the packaging with the logo of the Chinese vaccine manufacturer Sinovac, which is one of Indonesia’s main suppliers. The main message was written behind Widodo on a banner in capital letters: “Safe and halal” is the promise.

A similar picture emerged in Turkey on the same day. The Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca was the first citizen of the country to be vaccinated with the CoronaVac vaccine developed in China. Broadcast live on Turkish television. This was preceded by a 14-day security test by the Turkish authorities. “I always said there was a light at the end of the tunnel,” Koca said after the vaccination.

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Pfizer is supplying less vaccine to Europe for the time being – the head of the chancellery expects an effort by the summer

Spain has for the first time since the beginning of the corona pandemic more than 40,000 new infections reported within one day. The number of infections rose by 40,197 to a total of more than 2.25 million, the Ministry of Health announced in Madrid on Friday. The previous high was reached on Wednesday with 38,869. Because the numbers have been increasing for weeks, several regions, including Madrid, decided on one Tightening of measures to contain the pandemic.

The nocturnal Going lock the regional government announced on Friday that it will be brought forward by one hour to 11 p.m. in the capital region from Monday. Restaurants, cafés and bars in the entire so-called autonomous community will then have to close at 10 p.m. – instead of at midnight as before. According to the information, the tightening of the measures will initially apply for two weeks.

In addition, the number the one in Madrid cordoned off areasthat can only be left or entered with valid reason, in a total of 19 municipalities and 47 smaller districts elevated. A total of 1.3 million of the 6.7 million inhabitants in the region are affected.

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+++ Corona-News +++: Merkel allegedly wants to bring forward the federal-state round and tighten lockdown

Federal government extends application deadline for corona aid +++ France tightened curfew +++ Study: infected people probably protected from re-infection for five months +++ The news blog. .

Merkel supposedly wants to bring forward the federal-state round and tighten lockdown – extended application deadlines for aid

After surviving a corona infection According to a study, people are very likely Protected from re-infection for at least five months. However, there is Hints, that too People with antibodies the Spread virus could, it said in the study by the health authority Public Health England (PHE) among employees of the British health system. However, the study cannot make any statements about the effects of vaccines at this point in time. “We now know that most of those who had the virus and developed antibodies are protected from re-infection,” said Susan Hopkins, senior medical advisor to the agency and co-lead on the study, but this protection is not complete. It is also unclear how long this will last. After surviving an infection, a severe Covid 19 disease is highly unlikely. But there is still the risk of getting infected and infecting others.

Participated in the study so far Tens of thousands of UK healthcare workers part. They have been tested regularly for both corona infection and antibodies since June. Of the 6,614 participants who tested positive for antibodies, there were only 44 possible new infections, according to the study.

Experts who were not involved in the study spoke of important findings. “These data reinforce the message that for the time being everyone is a potential source of infection for others and should act accordingly,” said Eleanor Riley, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Edinburgh University. Simon Clark of Reading University said: “This means that the vast majority of the population must either have natural immunity or have been vaccinated in order for us to completely lift the restrictions in our lives. Unless we’re prepared for many more people to be infected and die from Covid-19. “

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+++ Corona-News +++: Bavaria wants to promote home office taxation – Biontech vaccine will soon also be produced in NRW

Spahn: “We have been in a permanent exceptional situation for months” +++ US epidemic authorities have administered around 10.3 million vaccine doses so far. +++ The news blog. .

How Bayer wants to research the new blockbuster

Frankfurt Regenerating weak organs with new cells: This is one of the great hopes that physicians and pharmaceutical researchers associate with the concept of cell therapy. Bayer has also innovated in this area. With a good two dozen alliances and acquisitions, the Leverkusen-based group broadened its development program last year and at the same time established a new research focus in the field of cell and gene therapies.

A few days ago, he also agreed to cooperate with the biotech company, Covid vaccine developer and mRNA specialist Curevac. Bayer wants to support the Tübingen-based company primarily on regulatory issues and with the market launch of its Covid vaccine. In addition, the companies are exploring opportunities for cooperation in production and other projects.

In an interview with Handelsblatt, Bayer’s Pharma Division is convinced that the new direction will make it much better equipped in the medium and long term than in the past. “Today we have a good mix of early, medium and late projects on our own. The opposite was the case two years ago, ”says Oelrich.

The key steps in the renovation were the takeover of the cell therapy specialist Bluerock in 2019 and the purchase of the American gene therapy company Ask Bio for up to four billion dollars last fall. Both are run as independent companies under the umbrella of a new cell and gene therapy division within the pharmaceutical sector.

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Thanks to acquisitions and a number of other alliances, Bayer now sees itself among the five leading companies in these areas. Products that are ready for the market are likely to be a long time coming. According to Oelrich, Bayer pharmaceutical research gains a new quality with this commitment. For the first time, it has a technology platform that promises important therapeutic breakthroughs in various fields and a steady stream of new projects and products for the next few years.

Gene therapies have recently caused a sensation in the treatment of cancer and certain hereditary diseases. Pharmaceutical companies such as Roche and Novartis invested high single-digit billions in the purchase of companies with individual, market-ready gene therapies. Ask Bio is a technology supplier and licensor for several of these products, including the Zolgensma gene therapy for the hereditary disease muscular dystrophy.

In particular, the company has extensive know-how in the development and production of viruses that can be used as transfer vehicles for genes. Bayer’s gene and cell therapy program currently comprises more than 15 preclinical projects and seven products in clinical test phases, including new therapies for Parkinson’s and heart failure.

Monsanto deal created uncertainty

The transformation of Bayer pharmaceutical research was largely overshadowed by the € 56 billion takeover of Monsanto, with which the Leverkusen-based group traded very high risk of damages. The deal raised doubts as to whether Bayer still has enough financial strength and management focus to advance its pharmaceutical business in the long term.

Activist investors repeatedly speculate that the group will be split up. In addition, the agro-business also shows operational weaknesses. This makes it all the more important for Bayer management to position the pharmaceuticals business as a strong and future-proof pillar.

The division, which currently has sales of around 18 billion euros, has developed solidly in recent years. However, the most important sales drivers, the anticoagulant Xarelto and the eye medicine Eylea, will lose their patent protection in important markets in the next few years.

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The bestsellers currently account for around 40 percent of sales. Many investors and analysts therefore fear a dip in sales and so far do not consider the Group’s research pipeline to be strong enough to compensate for this. Because the track record of Bayer pharmaceutical research has been mixed over the past decade. A number of product candidates that the group believed to have high sales, including the potential cancer drug anetumab, turned out to be a flop in clinical studies or disappointed commercially.

In the hemophilia drug business, Bayer has been overtaken by competitors such as Roche with innovative products. The company has mothballed a factory in Wuppertal that was specially built for new blood medicines and has since sold it to the Chinese company Wuxi Biologics.

Oelrich took over the management of the Pharma Division in November 2018, in a strategically difficult phase a few months after the Monsanto deal was completed. Before that, he held various management positions at the French competitor Sanofi. “At that time we were faced with a fork in the road and the question of whether we should turn left and become a company with a focus on established products, or whether we should take the more difficult path of innovation,” said the Bayer manager.

Several possible blockbuster drugs

Even beyond the new focus on cell and gene therapy, the product portfolio has clearly improved from the point of view of the Bayer Pharmaceutical Manager. In total, the Group’s product pipeline comprises more than 50 projects in clinical development. For three already well advanced product candidates, Oelrich sees blockbuster potential, that is: peak sales of more than one billion euros each.

These include the already approved prostate cancer drug Nubeqa, the active ingredient finerenone for kidney failure and a new active ingredient for menopausal symptoms that Bayer acquired together with the British company Kandy last year.

Nubeqa is already approved in the USA, Europe and other countries. After positive test results, Finerenone is in the accelerated approval process in the USA. An approval-relevant study for the drug from Kandy is to start this year.

Bayer expects the cardiovascular drug Vericiguat to generate sales of more than one billion euros. However, here you have to share the proceeds with the US group Merck & Co.

The Leverkusen-based group also has some hopes for several projects in the mid-clinical test phase, including potential follow-up products for the anticoagulant Xarelto. According to the Bayer researchers, these active ingredients, which inhibit coagulation factor XI, offer the prospect of reducing the risk of bleeding more effectively with this type of drug.

To what extent these new developments will be able to compensate for the impending loss of sales with today’s blockbusters in the next few years is open to Oelrich. From his point of view, however, it is clear that there is no question of an impending “patent cliff”, the risk of an abrupt drop in sales. Not only because the patent expiries drag on for several years: “We have enough projects and successful late-stage development so that we can look ahead much more confidently.”

More: Young biotech companies ensure growth in the pharmaceutical market

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Netherlands extend lockdown – From Friday registration is mandatory when entering Austria

Three Democratic MPs of the US House of Representatives tested positive for the coronavirus after the siege of the Capitol building by Trump supporters been. MP Brad Schneider said he received a positive test result on Tuesday. The Democrats Pramila Jayapal and Bonnie Watson Coleman had previously made their infection public. The Democrats accused Republican MPs of not wanting to wear a mask when they were offered one.

“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, putting everyone around them at risk,” Jayapal said. “Just hours after President Trump instigated a deadly attack on our Capitol, our country and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum of Covid-19 precaution and simply put a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic to wear. ”Schneider accused the mask refusers with selfishness and arrogance.

Coleman, Schneider and Jayapal were among dozens of MPs who had been moved to a safe location during the uprising. Several members of Congress spent hours in the great room. Congressional doctor Brian Monahan urged all MPs to get tested for the coronavirus because they may have been exposed to the virus.

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Netherlands want to extend lockdown – Merkel criticizes implementation of corona protection in old people’s homes

Three Democratic MPs of the US House of Representatives Tested positive for the corona virus after the siege of the Capitol building by Trump supporters been. MP Brad Schneider said he received a positive test result on Tuesday. The Democrats Pramila Jayapal and Bonnie Watson Coleman had previously made their infection public. The Democrats accused Republican MPs of not wanting to wear a mask when they were offered one.

“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, putting everyone around them at risk,” said Jayapal. “Just hours after President Trump instigated a deadly attack on our Capitol, our country and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum of Covid-19 precaution and simply put a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic to wear. ”Schneider accused the mask refusers with selfishness and arrogance.

Coleman, Schneider and Jayapal were among dozens of MPs who had been moved to a safe location during the uprising. Several members of Congress spent hours in the great room. Congressional doctor Brian Monahan urged all MPs to get tested for the coronavirus because they may have been exposed to the virus.

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British are increasing the vaccination rate – Spahn expects herd immunity in summer

In the fight against the high number of corona cases, the UK government increase the pace of vaccination. So far, about 2.6 million vaccine doses have been administered, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday. At the same time, he warned against neglecting the measures to contain the virus. The new virus variant was “highly contagious” and put the NHS health service under “considerable pressure”, said the minister.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had also called for increased vigilance, otherwise the lockdown measures would have to be stepped up. “Now is the time to be extremely vigilant, to comply with the rules,” said Johnson while visiting a vaccination center in Bristol.

As many first vaccinations as possible are given in the UK, the second dose is expected to follow within twelve weeks. To date, just over 370,000 people have received a second dose.

With around 46,000 new infections, the number of new infections reported in Great Britain on Monday was slightly lower than last week. But the number of Covid-19 patients who have to be treated in hospital continues to rise.

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RKI registers 24,694 new corona infections – In Mecklenburg Western Pomerania, tightened lockdown is to apply from Sunday

According to the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the interval between the first and second corona vaccination should not be increased. The Stiko announced this in an update of its vaccination recommendation on Friday. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) had the authority examined whether such a procedure makes sense in order to be able to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible with the currently limited vaccine quantities. The background to this is that there is a certain degree of protection against Covid 19 disease already after the first vaccination.

“The second dose of vaccine should be administered within the period covered by the approval studies (currently 42 days),” says the updated vaccination recommendation. To justify this, the Stiko experts explain that at the moment it is uncertain whether postponing the second vaccine dose to a later date will actually prevent more serious illnesses and deaths than a second vaccination for high-risk groups soon, which then results in almost complete protection before illness leads. If the recommended interval between the first and second vaccine dose has been exceeded, the vaccination series can be continued and does not have to be restarted.

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