Pfizer Biontech have capped vaccine delivery target

Corona vaccine

Pfizer’s and Biontech’s vaccine has already received emergency approval in the UK.

(Photo: Reuters)

New York Pfizer has cut its delivery targets for its coronavirus vaccine because of supply chain problems, according to a newspaper. That’s why half of the original amount is expected, reports the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Thursday.

The “WSJ” wrote, citing an insider, that some earlier batches of the raw materials did not meet the required standards. This has led to delays in production, it said, citing the person who was involved in the development of the vaccine.

The paper quoted a Pfizer spokeswoman as saying that it took longer than expected to ramp up the supply chain. A direct statement from the US group on the report was not available. Another reason was that the results of a clinical study were available later than expected, reports the Reuters news agency.

According to the newspaper, Pfizer held on internally until mid-November to deliver 100 million vaccine doses by the end of this year. Most recently, however, the company spoke of 50 million cans. For the coming year, the original plan to deliver more than a billion vaccine doses will remain, the newspaper wrote.

Those who get vaccinated need two doses to be protected. Pfizer developed the vaccine together with the German manufacturer Biontech from Mainz.

Pfizer shares come under pressure

The report weighed on Pfizer shares in US trading. Pfizer stocks closed 1.7 percent in the red, the US-listed shares of Biontech about two percent. The US standard value index Dow Jones gave up its initial gains.

The British Medicines Agency granted Pfizer and Biontech emergency approval for their corona vaccine on Wednesday. The UK is the first country ever to issue a clearance certificate for the vaccine. The US FDA and the European Medicines Agency Ema are also currently reviewing such applications.

In the USA, emergency approval is expected in mid-December. According to this week, the US government expects to have Pfizer’s corona vaccine available to 6.4 million people by the end of the year. In addition, by the end of the year, 12.5 million people in the USA could also get the vaccine from the biotech company Moderna, for which the approval process is also ongoing.

Moderna expects to deliver 100 to 125 million doses of its vaccine worldwide in the first quarter of 2021. Of that, 85 to 100 million would be available in the US and up to 25 million abroad.

According to the detailed study, the vaccine from Pfizer and Biontech protects against the disease Covid-19 with an efficiency of 95 percent. The preparation is a so-called mRNA vaccine, which is based on a new mechanism.

The vaccine contains genetic information about the pathogen, from which the body produces a virus protein – in this case the surface protein that helps the virus to penetrate 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.

More: Biontech and Pfizer want to deliver corona vaccine immediately after British approval


Which manufacturers benefit from the coronavirus

Frankfurt Few industries have benefited commercially from the corona pandemic as significantly as the manufacturers of laboratory diagnostics. The strong demand for tests to detect Sars-CoV-2 infections gave them an unexpected upturn from March. For the first time in a long time, sales of diagnostics will increase by double digits this year and thus grow significantly faster than the pharmaceutical market.

But industry experts fear that the current upswing could turn out to be a fragile boom. The soaring could come to an abrupt end if the pandemic were to be contained in the coming year with successful vaccines.

Managers from the industry are also trying to dampen the euphoria. Alexandre Mérieux, the head of the French diagnostics manufacturer Biomerieux, referred to “recent developments in the pandemic area that are causing us to be cautious in terms of performance outlook” when the latest quarterly report was presented, despite the strong figures. The current development cannot be projected beyond 2020.

The present is bright, however: 2020 will be an enormously strong year for the diagnostics industry, which has sales of around 60 billion dollars. And at least for the first half of 2021, it looks very good.

In the past third quarter of 2020, the top ten diagnostics providers recorded an average sales growth of around 17 percent. In the first nine months of the year it was around 13 percent. In particular, the strong demand for so-called PCR tests, in which detailed blood tests are carried out in the laboratory, for Covid diagnostics initially drove business.

In the meantime, the faster antigen tests have been added, in which the results are available in a few minutes after swabs. Especially those players who are strongly represented in these product segments are currently growing at an above-average rate.

The American diagnostics companies Hologic and Quidel climbed particularly steeply, doubling their sales in the first nine months. However, companies such as Thermo Fisher, Biomerieux and the German biotech and diagnostics group Qiagen, which is active both with its own PCR and antigen tests and as a supplier, also posted significantly above-average growth.

In the case of Qiagen, the sudden corona boom even brought down the planned takeover of the Hilden-based group by the US competitor Thermo Fisher. In view of the greatly improved prospects, too many investors rejected the American offer. Thanks to Corona, Qiagen was able to remain independent.

For the full year, the company is now forecasting revenue growth of 20 percent and an increase in adjusted earnings per share to $ 2.07 to $ 2.09. This corresponds to an increase of around 45 percent compared to the previous year.


The prognoses at Thermo Fisher look similar. The US company Hologic, which closed its 2020 financial year at the end of September, is forecasting organic growth of up to 80 percent for the first quarter of the next financial year.

The loser among the large diagnostics providers, however, is the Siemens offshoot Healthineers, which posted a sales slump of 16 percent in the diagnostics business in the third quarter and five percent less in dollar terms in the first nine months. Siemens Healthineers is very small in the field of molecular diagnostics, which includes PCR tests. According to the company, higher sales thanks to Covid-19 tests could therefore not compensate for the losses in tests for routine examinations.

Healthineers is thus showing particularly clearly how divided the development in the diagnostics business is. Other manufacturers such as Roche, Abbott or Biomerieux also posted losses in their traditional business with routine diagnostics because many tests were postponed. The other companies were mostly able to compensate for this effect with extensive deliveries of Covid tests.

New rapid tests are in demand

The diagnostics business is currently receiving a further boost from so-called antigen tests. They enable an acute Sars-CoV-2 infection to be detected relatively quickly, but are less sensitive than the PCR tests, in which the genetic material of the virus must first be duplicated.

The demand for the new rapid tests has been great, especially since the Federal Ministry of Health recommended the use of antigen tests for broad testing in medical facilities in mid-October. With the new test strategy, the Federal Ministry of Health wants to prevent old and sick people from getting infected. For them, the risk of serious consequences of infection is greatest, as the ministry said.

But the tests are not only used by residents and staff in old people’s homes; medical practices and many companies also want to test their employees. In any case, sales of rapid tests in German pharmacies have skyrocketed, as data from the market research institute Insight Health show. While only 800 and 900 rapid tests were sold through German pharmacies in the holiday months of July and August, the number rose significantly in October with the new test strategy: to more than 26,000 tests.

Initially only a handful of antigen tests were available in Germany, but now there are well over a hundred. The number of providers is increasing rapidly and with it the competition in the industry. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices currently lists more than 200 antigen tests for direct pathogen detection of the coronavirus, which can be reimbursed according to the new ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Health.


Many providers sell their tests directly, otherwise they go through pharmaceutical wholesalers and pharmacies. Pharmaceutical wholesaler Noweda reports that the well-known manufacturers of the new antigen tests in particular are experiencing temporary bottlenecks due to the particularly high demand. In general, however, the rapid tests are available, says Noweda.

The providers of this new test category include many small companies as well as the big players in the diagnostics industry such as Roche, Abbott and Siemens Healthineers. Roche, for example, started the production of antigen tests in October with a monthly capacity of 40 million units and plans to massively expand capacity over the next few months. You build as much capacity as you can and move at the absolute limit, said company boss Severin Schwan recently.

For test providers, there is a multimillion market in Germany alone. The ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Health provides for a reimbursement of seven euros per test when used in medical facilities. A refund of 15 euros is made for the work of the medical staff performing the test.

Private consumers cannot use these new tests for use at home: The Infection Protection Act only allows them to be given to medically trained personnel to ensure that the test is carried out correctly.

Antigen tests often give incorrect results

In contrast to antibody tests that detect a previous infection in the blood, antigen tests can detect an acute Sars-CoV-2 infection using a smear from the nose. And within a few minutes and everywhere, if they are offered in the form of a mobile rapid test that looks similar to a pregnancy test. Antigen tests can be carried out faster than the gold standard test with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the laboratory.

However, rapid antigen tests are also criticized because they are less accurate than PCR tests – that is, they give more false results. “Rapid antigen tests are not made for mass tests,” said Mathieu Floreani, CEO of the laboratory group Synlab, in an interview with Handelsblatt.

Many infected people would not be discovered, and there would be some who test false “positive”. Above all, it is problematic if people who tested supposedly negative were certified as harmless.

Some researchers, on the other hand, argue that in some cases, a quick result is more important than accuracy, for example when it comes to quickly isolating highly infectious people and informing their contacts.

Corona rapid test

Some researchers argue that in some cases, a quick result is more important than accuracy.

(Photo: dpa)

Antigen tests are now also available for use in the laboratory. The Italian diagnostics company Diasorin offers one. And the Swiss Roche Group is also planning to launch its own laboratory-based antigen test for its laboratory analysis devices on the market in the next few weeks.

“Antigen tests are good for catching peaks in the laboratory. Their use depends on the available PCR capacities, ”says Thorsten Hilbich, Managing Director for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Poland at Diasorin. “They could also be used more cheaply than PCR tests if certain groups of people are to be screened. For example the students in a school class in which an infection has occurred. “

According to Michael Müller, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Accredited Laboratories in Medicine, the first laboratories with a low four-digit number per week are currently using the antigen tests in the laboratories. Since the tests are only just being launched on the market, they are examined as part of the laboratory’s internal quality management to determine whether they meet the performance data specified by the manufacturer for clinical samples.

Little demand for antibody tests

On the other hand, it has become quiet about the antibody tests, which could give evidence of a previous Sars-CoV-2 disease. In the spring there were still many hopes for these tests, there was a spirit of optimism in the industry and production was boosted.

At the beginning of May, for example, Roche started antibody test production in Penzberg, Bavaria, with a large, media-effective event in the presence of Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn and Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder. It was said at the time that three million of these tests were to be delivered to the federal government, and later five million each.

But the tests were not called up by the ministry, as the Handelsblatt has now confirmed on request. Because the national test strategy relies on PCR and antigen tests, according to the current state of knowledge, antibody tests are not recommended for acute diagnostics either, said a spokeswoman for the Handelsblatt.

For people who do not know whether they have already suffered from Covid 19 disease – because it is symptom-free – an antibody test could theoretically be used to clarify whether a vaccination is still necessary.

Diasorin manager Hilbich does not believe that the big hour for antibody tests will come next year with the Sars-CoV-2 vaccinations: “I suspect that it will be too expensive to test the population on a large scale before vaccination who is already immune, ”he says.

“And the question of the extent to which a vaccination was successful and triggered an adequate immune response is not determined in the general population either, but in scientific studies with limited cohorts.”

Collaboration: Hans-Jürgen Jakobs

More: Synlab boss: “Corona rapid tests are used incorrectly”


technological advances that will change medicine

Technological advances impact the day-to-day life of all people in all areas and the world of health does not escape this reality

Technological advancement impacts all aspects of the daily life, including health care.

According to an article published by El Universal, these are some of the ways in which the advanced of the technologies Information and communication help people to be healthier.

Remote control of vital signs

As a consequence of the appearance and use of Smart Watches, it is possible to measure vital signs such as blood pressure, blood oxygen level and even sleep quality in a simpler and more constant way. This type of monitoring allows greater detection and prevention health risks and certain pathologies. It is worth mentioning that, in addition to constant monitoring, there are some devices and programs that are connected to the internet and are automatically sent to the GP.

Many apps monitor vital signs

Video calls

Video calls, meanwhile, expand access to the medical attention. Experts in information systems and digital health from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), physical and mental telerehabilitation has advanced a lot. One of the cases cited in the article indicates that the School of Public Health of Andalusia has been developing 3D models with holograms for some time and there are mobile applications with animations that help the rremote rehabilitation.

Change of habits

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges in health is having healthy habits to prevent disease. For those who already have them, it does not seem so complex, but it is difficult to change a habit in a person who already has it installed.

That is why they are currently combining psychological techniques, economic incentives, data science, analysis with artificial intelligence and technological monitoring devices so that people are incentivized to have healthier habits. Some examples are companies like Omada, AbleTo or some European insurers, which apply discounts in the insurance policy who registers healthy behaviors, which are verified by monitoring devices.

Healthy habits are key to taking care of your health

Healthy habits are key to taking care of your health

Doctors also benefit from innovation

It is not only patients who benefit from progress in digital health. Medical science now has new sources and types of information that contribute to a better understanding of the factors that affect health. Thus, through more technological tools, it is possible to take advantage of and process this new information.

Either way, it is necessary to understand that not everything is technology. It is important to bear in mind that the excessive use of technology in itself can be harmful, and can also prevent any detection. pathology, as far as health is concerned. It is important to keep visits to health professionals on a routine basis and try to follow the recommendations provided by the experts.

It should be remembered that one of the most efficient ways to treatment it is the early detection of diseases in addition to prevention. This is key to being able to start therapy as soon as possible and attack the disease as efficiently as possible.


Bayer creates gene therapy platform after takeover of Ask Bio

Bayer plant in Leverkusen

The group is upgrading gene therapy research with its own department within the pharmaceutical division.

(Photo: dpa)

Frankfurt Bayer is also promoting its commitment to gene and cell therapy in the Covid pandemic. After taking over the American gene therapy specialist Ask Bio, the Leverkusen-based group has now established a separate platform for cell and gene therapy (C&GT) within the pharmaceutical division. The aim is to expand the “increasingly leading position” in the field.

This is a “profound transformation step” for the business, explained Stefan Oelrich, head of Bayer’s pharmaceuticals division. “This is a very important moment for Bayer,” he said. Cell and gene therapies have been among the most innovative approaches in health care. “Our goal is to be at the forefront of this revolution in science.”

At the end of October, Bayer agreed to take over the US biotech company Ask Bio for up to four billion dollars, thus taking a decisive step in the expansion of the field.

The US company holds important patents there, has developed the basic technology for several gene therapies that have already been approved by other companies, and has a number of its own development projects. Half of the purchase price was due upon completion of the deal on December 1st, the rest must be paid depending on certain development successes.

The former Boehringer Ingelheim manager Wolfram Carius has now been appointed head of the newly created cell and gene therapy unit. At the pharmaceutical company, he had headed biotech production for a long time.

According to the Leverkusen-based group, Bayer’s development portfolio in the field of gene and cell therapies now comprises five projects in advanced development and more than 15 preclinical projects. Strategically, the focus is on stem cell therapies – with a focus on induced pluripotent cells, “iPSCs” -, on gene augmentation, in which defective genes are compensated for by transferring additional genes, and on gene editing and allogeneic cell therapies different indications.

Bayer took a first significant step in the field of cell therapies in 2019 with the acquisition of Bluerock Therapeutics. According to Oelrichs, the Group’s strategy now aims to supplement the development program with three additional projects in the clinical development phase each year.


Gene therapies are characterized by the fact that defective genes are switched off or replaced by new ones. Genetically modified viruses are generally used as transfer vehicles – so-called vectors. The concept differs fundamentally from common active pharmaceutical ingredients that intervene in the metabolism at the protein or enzyme level. Unlike many classic drugs, gene therapy is designed to fundamentally and permanently eliminate the causes of disease.

With a number of approvals, the technology has made its way into medical practice in recent years. A number of other large pharmaceutical companies have also recently made major acquisitions in the field.

For example, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis acquired the US company Avexis, which developed the gene therapy Zolgensma against the hereditary disease spinal muscular atrophy, for $ 8.7 billion. Roche paid $ 4.3 billion for the US company Spark at the end of last year. Gilead swallowed biotech company Kite Pharmaceuticals for nearly $ 12 billion.

More: Bayer’s acquisition of Ask Bio is a rational bet on the future.


Another businessman kidnapped in the Mozambican capital

O businessman was abducted by three armed men on his way home from a family member, he said Leonel Machine, spokesman for the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM).

They made some shots to persuade the victim to give in “, dragged him to a vehicle and fled, he said.

The 54-year-old commercial entrepreneur was on his way home and is said to have been kidnapped in the Zimpeto, in the suburbs of the city of Maputo.

A PRM advanced that investigations are ongoing, coordinated with the National Criminal Investigation Service (Sernic) to clarify the crime.

Figures so far put forward by the Mozambican authorities indicate that 11 kidnappings have occurred in the country (including the latter on Friday) since the beginning of the year, whose victims are always businessmen or family members.

In October, a group of entrepreneurs in the city of Beira, Sofala, center of Mozambique, paralyzed, for three days its activities in protest against the wave of abductions in the country.

The Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique (CTA), the largest employer association in the country, has also demanded on several occasions a severe fight against this type of crime and even the Mozambican President, Filipe Eyebrows, already asked for more measures.

The Mozambican Government has promised, in November, an “energetic fight” against abductions, describing this type of crimes as “horrendous”, having advanced that it is betting on the reinforcement of the police capacity, endowing the corporation with more modern means in the fight against abductions.

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Third model of the upcoming OnePlus 9 series planned

The Chinese manufacturer OnePlus made a strategy change last year by introducing two smartphones at the same time for the first time with the OnePlus 7 and the 7 Pro. Now there are the first rumors that the manufacturer is planning a third device in the upcoming 9 series, the OnePlus 9E.

The following information was disclosed by the well-known and reputable leaker Max Jambor. The source has proven to be quite trustworthy in the past, which means that there are real leaks.

He mentioned that OnePlus is probably planning a third device in the upcoming OnePlus 9 series. The model should therefore be called OnePlus 9E, which should be equipped similar to its brothers. Whether it should be hardware-wise between the two models or even behind the OnePlus 9 is still unclear at the moment. The question of whether all three models will come to Europe also remains open at the moment.

OnePlus is not the first manufacturer to plan a third model in a flagship series. So they were probably inspired by Samsung, who also introduced a third device at the beginning of last year, which even has the letter E in its name. Huawei also followed this trend and presented a third model, the Huawei P40 Pro +, in March this year.

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Is it your lucky day? Meet the key to this Tuesday’s EuroMillions

A draw key 096/2020 of the EuroMillions this Tuesday, the 1st of December, consists of the numbers 14 – 20 – 29 – 47 – 49.

The stars 4 e 12 lock the key euro millionaire.

At stake is a € 178 million jackpot.

Note: This information does not dispense the mandatory consultation of the official website Santa Games Casa.

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Thinner size and lighter weight .. New changes to Samsung’s foldable phones – Erm News

Thinner, Lighter Weight ... New Changes ...

“Lee Jong-min”, CEO of Samsung, revealed the company’s plans to develop future versions of foldable phones, pointing out that they will be thinner and lighter in size. Focused

Lee Jong-min, CEO of Samsung, revealed the company’s plans to develop the next versions of foldable phones, pointing out that they will be thinner and lighter.

The phone manufacturers have focused heavily during the recent period on developing foldable phones to be a major part of their versions. Samsung is one of the main developers for this category of phones, and it is also working continuously to develop design that achieves the best experience for users.

Lee Jong Min’s comments came to explain that foldable smartphones are a new sector and completely different from other smartphones, and he also stressed the South Korean giant’s focus on developing the next generation of foldable phones with a thinner and less weighted design, that is, unlike the current versions.

It is noteworthy that “Samsung” had launched the “Galaxy Z Fold2” with a weight of 282 grams, a weight higher than the previous version, which was distinguished by a weight of 263 grams, but the new version came with a new design for the screen separators to protect the phone from dust, and also supports the bending separators in more From a trend, so the new design of the screen separators increased the thickness of the phone from 15.5 mm to 16.8 mm.

“Google” and “Microsoft” also provided support to “Samsung” to develop software in its foldable phones to provide a distinctive experience to users, so the “Galaxy Z Fold” phones were the ideal choice for users in multitasking with a larger screen.

It is noteworthy that recent leaks confirmed that “Samsung” plans to launch a “Galaxy Z Fold3” phone in the market at the same price as its current phone, Galaxy Z Fold2, and expectations indicate that the next version comes with a camera below the screen with an S pen, so we are expecting more details about the plans. The Korean giant for its next generation of smartphones.

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Lara Thabet – Erm News


goodbye Libra, hello Diem

The association responsible for promoting the highly anticipated digital currency supported by Facebook is changing its name.

Libra is dead, long live the Diem. The association responsible for launching the digital currency supported by Facebook and its partners has decided to change its name. The principle of a Latin name remains: it will therefore be the Diem (“day”).

After the bronca triggered among states, central banks and regulators by the presentation of the first global digital currency project, the association seeks to highlight the project’s independence from the social network and to obtain the regulatory green light. The name change is part of this new strategy. “The original name was linked to a first iteration of the project which received a difficult reception from regulators. We radically changed this proposition»Explained the new CEO of the association Stuart Levey, a former Under-Secretary for Terrorism under the Bush and Obama administrations, who worked for HSBC bank.

“Facebook is an essential member”

«Facebook is an essential member of the association“Stuart Levey told Reuters. We are not trying to cut all ties, far from it. This (the name change) must mean that the association operates autonomously and independently.“, he added. Facebook, for its part, had also changed the initial name of its payment division. Calibra became Novi Financial last May. Its director, David Marcus, is one of the five members of the board of directors of the Diem association.

Stuart Levey confirmed that the Diem currency will first launch a first digital asset, pegged only to the dollar, as revealed by the Financial Times last week. The association had reviewed its ambitions in a second white paper devoted to its project published last April. ” The libra will simply be a digital composite of some of these stable cryptocurrencies (…) which can be used as an effective international settlement currency.», Specified the new version.

No comments on the calendar

On the other hand, Stuart Levey refused to comment on the launch schedule mentioned by the British daily, namely possibly from January. The launch will only take place after obtaining a license as a payment system from the Swiss financial market supervisory authority, Finma, for which the association submitted an application last April.

Diem aims to distinguish itself from other cryptocurrencies by focusing on aspects of concern to regulators and Western governments, including sanction controls and financial crime, explained the CEO of the Diem association.