London: US drugmaker Pfizer wrongly assumed that the coronavirus outbreak can be rapidly contained and thus declined the provide made by BioNTech to develop a vaccine in opposition to the infectious illness that has up to now 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 big because the virus was beginning to sweep the globe in January 2020, the Telegraph reported.
“Guys, this isn’t going to work, they have been advised by Dr Phil Dormitzer, Pfizer’s Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for vaccines. Dormitzer additionally thought-about it to be too experimental,” the report mentioned.
“My working assumption was that it (Covid-19) can be managed” just like the SARS and MERS outbreaks, Dormitzer later confirmed.
It’s 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 rapidly contained.
Nonetheless, 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.
Up to now, about 1.4 billion doses of Pfizer and BioNTech two-dose revolutionary Covid jab, developed based mostly 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 e book titled The Vaccine, written by journalist Joe Miller, to be launched this week, the report mentioned.
It additionally accounts how the couple, who emigrated to Germany from Turkey as young children and met on a most cancers ward as younger docs, constructed not one billion-dollar biotech firm however two. And the way they gambled every part to pivot BioNTech to focus completely on a Covid vaccine in early 2020, it added.