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  1. Good news an hour ago and the stock markets are exploding - Pfizer/BioNTech announce a 90% effective vaccine for Covid-19 and will request emergency approval next week. BioNTech share price went 24% up last 90 minutes, the DAX 6%, IBEX 9%. Especially happy as BioNTech is a "local" company from Mainz, around the corner from where I live. Details : "Work on the vaccine began in Mainz, Germany, in late January, when Ugur Sahin, the chief executive and co-founder of BioNTech, read about the virus in the Lancet that filled him with dread. “I almost instantly knew that this would affect us,” Mr. Sahin said in an interview. That same day, the first European cases were detected, in France. Mr. Sahin assembled a 40-person team to work on the vaccine. Many employees canceled vacations and Mr. Sahin authorized overtime pay. They called it Project Lightspeed. BioNTech used a technology that had never been approved for use in people. It takes genetic material called messenger RNA and injects it into muscle cells, which treat it like instructions for building a protein — a protein found on the surface of the coronavirus. The proteins then stimulate the immune system and are believed to result in long-lasting protection against the virus. Other companies, including Moderna, are also using messenger RNA technology. BioNTech quickly identified 20 vaccine candidates, and began testing them on rodents. But the company lacked the experience and resources to rapidly conduct a major clinical trial. So Mr. Sahin called Pfizer. The two companies had been working to develop a flu vaccine since 2018, and within a day of Mr. Sahin calling Dr. Jansen at Pfizer, the companies agreed to partner on a coronavirus vaccine. In mid-March, the companies announced their partnership. After early human trials, they determined that two vaccine candidates produced a robust immune response, including antibodies against the virus and powerful immune cells known as T cells. They chose the one with fewer side effects to start a trial with more than 30,000 volunteers in the U.S., Argentina, Brazil and Germany. In September the company expanded the trial to 44,000 participants." More details :

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