Health & Lifestyle

Pfizer initially rejected BioNTech’s offer to develop COVID vaccine

London: US drugmaker Pfizer wrongly assumed that the coronavirus outbreak can be shortly contained and thus declined the offer made by BioNTech to develop a vaccine towards the infectious illness that has to this point claimed greater than 4 million lives globally.

Germany-based BioNTech, now capitalized at US$84 billion, helmed by Turkish couple Dr Ugur Sahin and his spouse Dr Ozlem Tureci, got a “no” by the pharmaceutical large because the virus was beginning to sweep the globe in January 2020, the Telegraph reported.

“Guys, this is not going to work, they were told by Dr Phil Dormitzer, Pfizer’s Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for vaccines. Dormitzer also considered it to be too experimental,” the report stated.

“My working assumption was that it (Covid-19) would be controlled” just like the SARS and MERS outbreaks, Dormitzer later confirmed.

It is as a result of Dormitzer had been concerned with discussions about whether or not to create vaccines for MERS and SARS, solely to see the pathogens shortly contained.

However, it was solely a “matter of time” earlier than Pfizer modified its thoughts and a deal was introduced between the 2 corporations a month later.

So far, about 1.4 billion doses of Pfizer and BioNTech two-dose revolutionary Covid jab, developed primarily based on mRNA know-how, has been shipped to greater than 120 nations.

BioNTech founders revealed the story of preliminary rejection by Pfizer in a brand new ebook titled The Vaccine, written by journalist Joe Miller, to be launched this week, the report stated.

It additionally accounts how the couple, who emigrated to Germany from Turkey as babies and met on a most cancers ward as younger medical doctors, constructed not one billion-dollar biotech firm however two. And how they gambled all the things to pivot BioNTech to focus completely on a Covid vaccine in early 2020, it added.

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