BioNTech co-founder Ozlem Turesi says Covid has been with him for years

Texas News Today

LONDON — The co-founder and chief medical officer of BioNTech, the German company that developed the COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with Pfizer, told CNBC that the world “should not live in fear of the virus.”

“Covid is getting easier to handle. It’s already starting to get easier,” Dr. Ozrem Turech said in the latest episode of “CNBC Conversation.”

But he added, “This virus still accompanies us for years, so we need to return to the new normal.”

Asked about concerns about new coronavirus variants, he said BioNTech “will continue to evaluate and enhance these future variants.”

“For all of these mutants that are currently circulating, boosters alone appear to be suitable and protective to return to high levels of reduced immune response,” she said.

“But there may be variants that don’t apply to this soon, so we need to continue screening. The second pillar of this is: early and if you need to adapt. It’s a quick preparation. For variants … and because we’re doing those dry runs, not alone, with regulators, they’re also preparing for the potential need for switching,” Turesi told CNBC.

Turesi co-founded Germany-based BioNtech with her husband’s CEO, Ugur Sahin, in 2008. She said she needed more data to pinpoint the pandemic, but could imagine future boosters could be given “every 12 or 18 months”. ..

corona vaccine within 1 year

The company’s main focus was on the “pioneer of personalized immunotherapy” for cancer treatment and the use of its mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) technology to stimulate the body’s own immune response. We are also working on the development of a malaria vaccine.

“So we already had the science and knowledge of immune mechanisms and how they can be used and leveraged against viruses,” Turesi said. Rice field.

“And another pillar of our response was our technology, the mRNA technology. [it] use as a vaccine format, which means it would be possible [it] It communicates with the immune system and teaches you how to properly respond to this new enemy. ”

“And this technology was already ripe because it was used in clinical trials for cancer patients. We can use it to do clinical trials, use it to treat humans, and I knew how to set up the manufacturing process,” she said. ..

learned lessons

From the company’s experience, we were able to develop a vaccine within a year.

Asked if this applies to all other vaccines in the future, Turesi told CNBC “it has high priorities for this global threat” but there are lessons to be learned and moving forward.

“There are some things that I think could help them grow even faster if we take them to drug development in the future, and for example, non-pandemic infections. Also for cancer and autoimmune diseases, “He said.

natural gender equality

The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine is also spearheaded by female scientists, so Turacy explains why such a high-profile example of gender balance in science is “very important” and behind BioNTech’s success. I think it is one.

“One of the keys to our success as a team and as a company is that we are a gender-balanced team. Nearly half of our workforce is women, even at the top management level. Yes, the team of women.”

“But our team does not hire women because they want to get gender assignments. This is not surprising… and we see that half of the women are women,” she adds. I did

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