Biontech intends to start delivering a new Omicron vaccine in the coming weeks. This has special advantages.
Frankfurt – The pharmaceutical company Biontech expects its corona variant vaccine to be approved in the coming week and then to be delivered quickly. “We can deliver very promptly, hopefully from the beginning of September,” said Biontech boss Ugur Sahin in an interview with Der Spiegel . However, approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is still pending. This would mean that the new vaccine would come shortly before the expected autumn wave.
As Biontech announced when presenting its quarterly figures, the company is currently preparing for the market launch of two vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant, against the sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5. “Given the ongoing development of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, it is important that vaccines can be rapidly adapted to the major omicron variants currently circulating,” said Sahin when presenting the numbers.
New Omicron vaccine: Adapted vaccine provides more antibodies against the corona virus
The advantages of the newly adapted vaccines are obvious to Sahin: “A booster with an adapted vaccine produces significantly more antibodies,” he said in Der Spiegel . This means that an organism that is boosted with an adapted vaccine can protect itself better against the respective subtype.
If the EMA approves it, it would also be the first time that a vaccine adapted to a subvariant has been approved. That is also the reason why this is taking so long, as Sahin explained: The new vaccines were already completed in March. But the authority wanted to see a whole range of clinical data. “A clinical trial takes four to five months,” said Sahin.
|New omicron vaccine|
|Manufacturer||Biontech and Pfizer|
|Adapted to||Omicron sub-variants BA.4/BA.5|
|Eligible Age||From 12 years|
New Omikron vaccine: Approval for children not yet in sight
The new vaccine should initially be approved for adults and children over the age of twelve. According to Sahin, approval for younger children is also being considered, but the EMA needs more data for this.
Sahin told Der Spiegel he initially awaits approval of the vaccine, which is based on the original omicron sub-variant BA.1. In the meantime, however, Biontech has also developed and produced another vaccine for the now dominant sub-variant BA.5. This will probably only be approved a little later.
In a study, researchers from the USA found out how long you are contagious with the omicron variant of the corona virus.
Approval of the new Omicron vaccine: EMA announces special meeting for September 1st
His company is in the process of submitting the final documents to the EMA, Sahin said. “Then it can also happen quickly here.” Basically, there is “no huge difference between the two vaccines”.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently announced a special meeting for September 1st to discuss applications for booster vaccinations against the omicron variant of the virus. In addition to Biontech/Pfizer, Moderna also wants to bring the corresponding funds onto the market. Great Britain became the first country to approve the corresponding Moderna vaccine in the middle of the month.
New Omicron vaccine: Biontech relies on artificial intelligence
In addition, on Monday (August 22), Biontech/Pfizer submitted an Emergency Use Authorization Application to the US Food and Drug Administration for a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine adapted to Omicron variants BA.4/BA.5.
In the future, the Biontech boss wants to be able to react more quickly to the spread of new corona variants. “We have developed an early warning system that uses artificial intelligence to constantly analyze the development of the virus,” he said. A “top 100 list of variants to be observed” is then created. (con with afp)