Biontech, Curevac and Co.: how Germany scared off researchers
DBiotechnology has come a long way in Germany. To be precise, except for the platform from the Düsseldorf Shrove Monday procession. Fools on the Rhine celebrated Biontech's corona vaccine. Thanks were appropriate, helau. Who knows if the carnival campaign without masks and mandatory testing was not without the sensational effect… Germany has seen a dramatic transformation in the biotech industry, with the return of Biontech and Curevac to the Düsseldorf Shrove festival. The federal government invested 300 million euros in Curevacs in Tübingen in the summer of 2020, and the creation of a “biotech cluster” in Mainz. Despite this, the industry was largely unimpressed by the government's coalition agreement, with Helena Rubsamen-Schaeff expressing her disappointment. She is now on the supervisory board of Aicuris and Merck, and hopes to become a leading international biotechnology center. If you ask the industry, you will find three recurring causes of growing discontent.
Опубликовано : 2 месяца назад от Susan в Health
DBiotechnology has come a long way in Germany. To be precise, except for the platform from the Düsseldorf Shrove Monday procession. Fools on the Rhine celebrated Biontech’s corona vaccine. Thanks were appropriate, helau. Who knows if the carnival campaign without masks and mandatory testing was not without the sensational effect of the new mRNA technology from the laboratory.
And otherwise? Three years after the first coronavirus lockdown began, little remains of the widespread enthusiasm for molecular diagnostics and high-tech drugs. The anticipated German biotech boom was out of breath before it even started.
In the summer of 2020, when the federal government, fearful of a takeover bid from abroad, invested 300 million euros in Curevac in Tübingen, Economics Minister Peter Altmaier was enthusiastic about the republic’s “silver items”. City leaders rejoiced at the tax revenue that Biontech brought to Mainz and announced the creation of a “biotech cluster”. The idea of profiting from the study of the foundations of life suddenly sounded so sweet in the ears of politicians that the traffic light government even wrote it down in its coalition agreement: Germany now takes a “leading role” for industry and has a chance to become “a leading international biotechnology center.”
Disappointment instead of boom in the biotech industry
Helga Rubsamen-Schaeff lives in Düsseldorf. She says she was happy because of the biotechnology-themed car on Shrove Monday. But the difficulties her industry faces beyond the fifth season are driving her crazy.
You should know that Rübsamen-Schaeff was already a role model in German biotechnology when only insiders knew about Biontech. She left her professorship at the University of Frankfurt in 1994 to help develop new drugs against infectious diseases for Bayer. When the group closed this division in 2006, Rubsamen-Schaeff continued with her team under the name Aicuris. Six years later, they achieved spectacular success: US drugmaker MSD acquired the distribution rights for Aicuris for more than 400 million euros. No other German biotech company has signed such a brilliant license agreement before.
At Aicuris, Rubsamen-Schaeff is now on the supervisory board, as is the Dax group Merck from Darmstadt. “When the federal government came into power, I had high hopes,” she says. “The coalition agreement says a lot about the advancement of biotechnology. But this is only on paper. Nothing happened. We don’t even have a security strategy for the next pandemic. Even the heroes of Biontech are almost forgotten.”
Rubsamen-Schaeff is not alone in her disappointment. If you ask the industry, you will find three recurring causes of growing discontent. First, the reluctance to invest on the part of German financiers, who were not convinced even by the return of Biontech. Politicians can do little about it, but they can do little about it either. Secondly, the lag in the digitalization of the healthcare system. Third, high barriers to testing new drugs.
A few days in Holland, half a year in Germany
The third point requires some clarification for non-specialists. But then it is also particularly clear.