mRNA Technology Delivers Vaccine Breakthrough

By
Dr Bianca Ogden,
User

Molecular biology was Bianca’s first love before she discovered the joys and challenges of investing. After spending some time at Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis.. More

10 Nov 2020

In times of crisis it is often the case that innovation strives. This time, the biotech and pharma industry has stepped up, and it very much looks like it will deliver the goods. 

Earlier this year, many thought it was unthinkable to develop a vaccine from scratch within less than 18 months. Through the work we do as investors we had been looking at messenger RNA (mRNA) for some years, and to us, if someone can develop a vaccine, it will be the companies that have worked for some time on this new drug/vaccine modality.
 
Indeed, today BioNTech and its partner, Pfizer announced that BNT162b2 (an mRNA for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein) achieved success in the first interim analysis from their phase 3 study. This is a remarkable achievement.[1]
 
In August last year, I met with the Chief Medical Officer of BioNTech at the company’s headquarters in Mainz, Germany and discussed the immune system, cancer and the upcoming initial public offering (IPO). We had been fortunate to invest pre-IPO and we were puzzled how little interest there was in this cancer mRNA company. Fast forward to today and the world could not be more different.
 
Here is a biotech that has worked 24/7 since the beginning of the year, prioritised vaccine development and made sure it has a strong partner to accelerate development, manufacturing and distribution. This is biotech and pharma at its best.

It comes down to science, people and funding - the key aspects we pay close attention to in our everyday search for new technologies and innovations.

For more information:

A more detailed explanation of mRNA can be found here: https://www.platinum.com.au/Insights-Tools/The-Journal/COVID-19-Demystifying-this-Frightening-Disease

A short video which features Bianca talking about a selection of biotech investments in the Platinum International Health Care Fund, including BioNTech, can be found here: https://www.platinum.com.au/Insights-Tools/The-Journal/Biotechs-Changing-the-Future-of-Health-Care

[1] https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-announce-vaccine-candidate-against


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