Tag Archives: Covid-19

Covid-19: How BioNTech Used Its Cancer Research To Create A Vaccine (CNBC)

Over a month and a half before the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic, BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin met with his wife, BioNTech’s co-founder and chief medical officer Özlem Türeci, and together they agreed to redirect most of the company’s resources to developing a vaccine. Up until that point, BioNTech was little-known internationally and primarily focused on developing novel cancer treatments. The founders were confident in the potential of their mRNA technology, which they knew could trigger a powerful immune response. That confidence wasn’t necessarily shared by the broader medical community. No mRNA vaccine or treatment had ever been approved before. But the couple’s timely breakthrough was actually decades in the making. CNBC spoke with Şahin and Türeci about how they, along with Pfizer, created a Covid-19 vaccine using mRNA.

Covid-19: Molnupiravir – Merck’s Antiviral Drug

Molnupiravir (MK-4482, EIDD-2801) is an investigational oral antiviral medicine that significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization or death at a planned interim analysis of the Phase 3 MOVe-OUT trial in at risk, non-hospitalized adult patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. At the interim analysis, molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 50%; 7.3% of patients who received molnupiravir were either hospitalized or died through Day 29 following randomization (28/385), compared with 14.1% of placebo-treated patients (53/377); p=0.0012. Through Day 29, no deaths were reported in patients who received molnupiravir, as compared to 8 deaths in patients who received placebo.

Covid-19: Vaccine For Children Nears Approval

As the FDA nears a decision on authorizing Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children 5-11 years old, public-health officials and pediatricians are sharing research with families to assure hesitant parents of the shot’s safety. Photo: John Locher/Associated Press

Covid-19: ‘The Variant Hunters’ – Understanding Its Spread (Cambridge)

The variant hunters are helping us to understand how and why the COVID-19 virus is spreading, allowing us to fight back against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hear from some of the scientists behind the UK’s nationwide sequencing effort to track SARS-CoV-2. Sir Patrick Vallance (the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser) also describes how the expertise that came together during the pandemic is now recognised across the world – and why it’s crucially important to continue to sequence to be ready for future pandemics.

This pioneering work is being carried out by the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium, which comprises numerous academic institutions, four public health agencies and the Wellcome Sanger Institute, and is administered by the University of Cambridge.

“Incredibly impressive, incredibly high quality and incredibly focused on the mission to make sure that as many people benefited from the science as possible,” Sir Patrick Vallance.

Read more: https://www.cam.ac.uk/stories/variant…

Morning News: Life Under Taliban Rule, Facebook & Mental Health, Air Travel

A.M. Edition for Sept. 30. WSJ’s Sune Engel Rasmussen describes life under Taliban rule and the worries about Afghanistan’s economy. Britney Spears’s father is suspended as conservator of her $60 million estate.

Facebook is scheduled to testify at a Senate hearing about its products’ effects on young people’s mental health. And, the science behind Covid-19 transmission on planes. 

Science & Medicine: Story Behind The mRNA Vaccines

As mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines are deployed to protect hundreds of millions of people across the world from the deadly global pandemic, the University of Pennsylvania scientists whose research breakthroughs laid the foundation for swift vaccine development have been awarded the 2021 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. Here, mRNA vaccine pioneers Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, and Katalin Karikó, PhD, share the story behind their development of this groundbreaking technology, and what it means for the future of medicine.

Morning News: Pfizer Booster, U.S. Immigration, Ethiopia Hunger Crisis

Who is eligible to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shots? And why are certain Haitian migrants detained along the US-Mexico border being released while others are deported? Plus, new documents reveal the extent of Ethiopia’s hunger crisis.