Recently, a “U.S. President wants to buy off the German company to develop a new crown vaccine by the latter declined” news that Germany’s CureVac company has become the focus of international media attention. The U.S. Trump administration has offered a high price to CureVac, based in the German university town of Tubingen, for a move to the U.S. to develop a new coronavirus vaccine for the U.S., German media reported.
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German health ministry officials confirmed the matter to the media, for which Germany will provide financial support to keep CureVac in Germany. The European Union subsequently announced an 80 million euro offer to CureVac to expand its research and development and production production of the new coronavirus vaccine in Europe.
Where are the German companies represented by CureVac in the current major competition between countries and teams around the world over the development of the new coronavirus vaccine? Why is it favored by the United States? When will Germany come up with a vaccine for human clinical trials? In response to these problems, China News Agency reporters interviewed Dr. Marcus Schmidt, a pharmaceutical and health expert at the German Federal Office for Foreign Trade and Investment (GTAI).
Marcus Schmidt says at least 40 companies around the world are currently working on drugs and vaccines for coronaviruses. These include CureVac, the German company of Tubingen, and BioNTech in Mainz. In addition, there are many large international companies in Germany that produce vaccines. Examples include GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which has production sites in Magdeburg and Dresden, and Mersadon (MSD). These companies produce vaccines for such diseases as influenza, early summer meningitis (FSME), diphtheria, pertussis and rabies. According to the German Federal Office for Foreign Trade and Investment, global vaccine sales now amount to $40 billion, and the market has grown rapidly in recent years.
Speaking of the advantages of German companies in the development of vaccines, Marcus Schmidt believes that vaccines, like all modern drugs, are high-tech products, and that their research and development requires the latest analytical and synthesis technologies, genetic engineering laboratories, high-performance computers, analytical robots, and so on. In addition, highly qualified drug researchers, a well-functioning research and development environment and effective regulatory agencies are equally important.
He said it was no accident that big Western vaccine companies had concentrated more than 70 per cent of their industrial research and development spending and more than 80 per cent of global production in Europe. “As Europe’s leading pharmaceutical base, Germany is in excellent condition. No European country spends more on drug research and development than Germany. “
Speaking about the time it takes for the new coronavirus vaccine to come out, Marcus Schmidt points out that the development of new drugs is a very complex process. The entire drug development process, which allows market access, involves hundreds of separate steps, and despite modern technology, it typically takes an average of more than 13 years. “After all, drugs must not only be effective, but they must also be safe.”
He noted that because of its special urgency, vaccine developers worked closely with the approval authorities to shorten the process as quickly as possible. To this end, the so-called PRIME (Priority Medicines) procedure was established at the European level a few years ago, with the aim of providing the urgently needed and previously unanecessary drugs as soon as possible, without giving up safety.
He pointed out, for example, that it took about four years for vaccine approval stoics for Ebola and avian influenza. “The vaccine for COVID19, the new coronavirus, may be much faster because companies don’t start from scratch. Effective drugs already exist and are currently in clinical trials. “
“There are signs that the first vaccines could be developed even this year. But its regular use also requires approval from a globally recognized regulator. Marcus Schmidt said.
German media on the 19th quoted cureVac general manager said that the current vaccine research and development is progressing smoothly, will soon be able to test in animals, is expected to be carried out this summer clinical trials for humans, the key is to find the right dose before then.