BIONTECH CHIEF CLAIMS HIS VACCINE LIKELY EFFECTIVE VS. COVID VARIANT
The boss of Germany's BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, is confident that his pharmaceutical company's coronavirus vaccine will also work against the new mutation of the virus that has emerged in Britain, Michael Bauer reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
From a scientific point of view, the probability is high, he told dpa. "We have already tested the vaccine against around 20 other virus variants with other mutations. The immune response generated by our vaccine has always deactivated all forms of virus," he said.
The virus has now mutated a little more, Sahin said. "We now have to test it experimentally. This will take about two weeks. However, we are confident that this will not significantly affect the mechanism of action."
The antigen that the Mainz-based company and its US partner Pfizer use for the vaccine consists of more than 1,270 amino acids, according to Sahin.
Nine of them have now mutated, so not even 1 percent.
"Our vaccine sees all of the protein and causes multiple immune responses. As a result, we have so many docking points that it is difficult for the virus to escape. But that doesn't mean that the new variant is harmless."