Connect with us


BioNTech pays $55M upfront to partner with Biotheus on PD-L1/VEGF bispecific

As BioNTech continues to beef up its oncology pipeline, it’s once again turning to a Chinese partner.
The German biotech is putting down $55 million…



As BioNTech continues to beef up its oncology pipeline, it’s once again turning to a Chinese partner.

The German biotech is putting down $55 million upfront for a collaboration deal with Biotheus, which is based out of Zhuhai, China. In return, BioNTech will get a global ex-China license of PM8002, a bispecific simultaneously targeting PD-L1 and VEGF now being tested in Phase II studies in China, the companies said Monday morning. BioNTech returned to the region after striking two antibody-drug conjugate pacts earlier this year.

Biotheus could get more than $1 billion more via milestone payments as part of the deal, which the companies anticipate will close this quarter. The biotech had presented data on PM8002 at both of this year’s major medical conferences: the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the European Society for Medical Oncology.

In July, the duo had also lined up a research collaboration around a preclinical bispecific antibody and a clinical-stage monoclonal antibody for cancer.

The deal comes on the same morning BioNTech reported third-quarter results. As its Covid-19 vaccine peers make major adjustments to their guidance due to steeper declines than expected, BioNTech also adjusted its full-year guidance. The vaccine maker slashed €1 billion off its full-year Covid-19 vaccine revenue guidance, going from about €5 billion to €4 billion.

Jens Holstein

Whereas BioNTech previously said it could write off as much as $950 million (€900 million) after Pfizer lowered expectations for their partnered Covid vaccine, the write-down ended up being around $645 million (€600 million).

It’s also reducing its spending on both R&D and selling, general and administrative activities.

“In line with anticipated revenues of around €4 billion, we reduced relevant cost drivers for 2023 as we effectively manage our expenditures,” finance chief Jens Holstein said in a statement.

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

Professor Lockdown Denies Ever Calling For Lockdown

Professor Lockdown Denies Ever Calling For Lockdown

Authored by Will Jones via The Brownstone Institute,

In one of the more bizarre moments…



Professor Lockdown Denies Ever Calling For Lockdown

Authored by Will Jones via The Brownstone Institute,

In one of the more bizarre moments at the Covid Inquiry so far, Professor Neil Ferguson, the architect of Britain’s lockdown, today denied ever calling for the first national stay-at-home order – in the latest instance of lockdown backpedalling. 

The Mail  has more.

Professor Neil Ferguson’s terrifying March 2020 models warned that 500,000 Brits would die unless tougher action was taken to curb the virus’s spread.

It spooked Boris Johnson into adopting draconian restrictions that saw the country told they “must stay at home.” Vaccines — considered the only safe route out of the pandemic — were still months away from being deployed.

But Professor Ferguson, who quit his role as a SAGE adviser two months after being caught breaking social distancing rules to meet his married lover, today insisted he didn’t tell officials to plunge the country into a lockdown.

He told the UK COVID-19 Inquiry that the situation was “a lot more complex.”

The inquiry is in its second module, which is examining core UK decision-making and political governance.

Hugo Keith KC asked: “Do you feel that you did confine yourself to the provision of scientific advice, or did you become, despite your best endeavours, irrevocably involved in determination of policy?”

Imperial College London’s Professor Ferguson, nicknamed ‘Professor Lockdown’ for his infamous modelling, said it was a “difficult question to answer.”

He said: “I know I’m associated very much with a particular policy.

“But as you’ll be aware from the evidence I’ve given in my statement and statements of evidence, the reality was a lot more complex. 

“I don’t think I stepped over that line to say ‘we need to do this now.’

“What I tried to do was at times, which was stepping outside the scientific advisory role, to try and focus people’s minds on what was going to happen and the consequences of current trends.”

The epidemiologist drew heavy flak for his team’s modelling on the Covid pandemic. 

Their work suggested 500,000 Brits would die if nothing was done to stop the spread of the virus and there would be 250,000 deaths if two-thirds caught Covid.

Worth reading in full.

Ross Clark in the Spectator says that perhaps the most remarkable revelation from Professor Ferguson’s inquiry evidence is that “he spoke to and emailed Ben Warner at No. 10 on March 13th, three days before the Imperial paper [Report 9] was published.”

Warner was a data scientist brought into Downing Street by Dominic Cummings and whom Cummings later credited for inducing pandemic alarm in No. 10, so Ferguson contacting him directly beforehand is significant. 

However, Clark notes that in his email to Warner,

Ferguson then stopped short of damning the Government’s policy of mitigation rather than suppression. In fact, if the Government decided to continue with mitigation, he wrote, ‘there is a rational basis to that decision which I would say the science supports.’ However, he added, the Government should make it clear how many people were likely to die.

“Intriguingly, Ferguson then went on to write: ‘This event is in the natural disaster category and the cure (e.g. massive social distancing, shutdowns) could be worse than the disease.’ In other words, he had at least considered the possibility that lockdowns could cause more damage than they were worth – but neither he nor anyone else seems to have tried to model this.”

Republished from DailySceptic

Tyler Durden Mon, 11/06/2023 - 03:30

Read More

Continue Reading


London Remains The Most Attractive City To Move To Start A New Job

London Remains The Most Attractive City To Move To Start A New Job

In a world that’s becoming more globalized and interconnected, moving…



London Remains The Most Attractive City To Move To Start A New Job

In a world that's becoming more globalized and interconnected, moving to another country for work has become ever easier, language barriers notwithstanding, especially for specialized white-collar workers.

As Statista's Florian Zandt reports, according to the most recent edition of their Decoding Global Talent survey by consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, London remains the top destination for employees willing to switch their home base.

As the chart below shows, cities located in the Middle East and Asia have become more enticing for workers between 2018 and 2020 as well.

You will find more infographics at Statista

For example, 11 percent of survey respondents could imagine moving to Abu Dhabi, Tokyo and Singapore, translating into an improvement by nine, four and eight positions, respectively, compared to the 2018 ranking. More traditional and long-running hot spots like New York and Barcelona fell by six and five ranks. Amsterdam and Dubai complete the top 3, with 15 and 14 percent of respondents claiming they were willing to move to this city for work, respectively.

The survey conducted between October and December 2020 cites efforts by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to push for a more attractive image and an increase in the Gulf state's soft power, as well as an at-the-time effective coronavirus response strategy by Asian cities like Tokyo and Singapore as possible reasons for their jump in attractiveness. The Gulf states in particular have long been immigration hot spots. For example, in 2023, nine million people living in the UAE or 88.5 percent of the country's population were foreign nationals. Roughly half of these foreign nationals are from India (27.49 percent of the country's population), Pakistan (12.69 percent) and Bangladesh (7.40 percent).

This perceived attractiveness often comes at a price, though. According to the 2023 Mercer Cost of Living City Ranking, Singapore was ranked the second-most expensive city for international workers. Among the 227 cities analyzed, New York City (6), London (17) and Tokyo (19) also placed in the top 20.

Tyler Durden Mon, 11/06/2023 - 02:45

Read More

Continue Reading


Abandoned oil rigs could scrape carbon from the sky and store it in empty undersea reservoirs

This could be one reason to leave these rigs in the sea.




An oil rig graveyard in Cromarty Firth, Scotland. Pxfuel

Keeping control of our planet’s thermostat is proving tricky these days. Temperatures are rising slowly, and inaction is proving costly as we awkwardly lurch towards a cleaner future.

Some industries are proving stubbornly difficult to decarbonise, and we are likely to miss the key 1.5°C warming target. One response: big machines that suck CO₂ out of the air, also known as direct air capture.

Stemming from something like a realist science-fiction flick, these literal “skyscrapers” act like massive industrial vacuum cleaners. They strip the CO₂ from the air and store it in a secure location for at least 1,000 years. However, there are various problems with these machines, which is why they may be best suited to oil rigs.

The problems are threefold. Even if they were rolled out at a vastly bigger scale, they are still expensive, noisy and a major eyesore, which means they cannot be built where people live.

Also, for these machines to work at their best, they would ideally be powered by renewable energy which is why wind power has been endorsed by leading scientists as the perfect marriage for direct air capture.

On land, wind turbines the size of high-rise buildings have their critics. But offshore, there are no locals to bother and the turbines can produce more energy as the wind supply is more consistent.

There is also an abundance of sites below the sea where oil and gas has been extracted and where CO₂ can now be stored.

Make use of abandoned oil rigs

Placing CO₂ scrubbers on abandoned oil rigs and sending them out to sea would allow us to take advantage of this. It would also provide a way to deal with the dozens of abandoned oil rigs that pose a serious issue for the industry as they are expensive to decommission. The UK’s rigs alone could cost an estimated £24 billion.

An international convention known as Ospar also dictates that such rigs cannot stay in the sea and must be removed. This conflicts with UK policy on the preservation of marine life since the legs of the rig can act as artificial reefs creating new marine habitats.

Taxpayers money that would be spent on decommissioning could instead be diverted towards retrofitting the big rigs with the ability to suck CO₂ from the air. Pipelines between air scrubbing machines and the carbon storage reservoirs can be prohibitively expensive, but would be cheaper in this scenario as most of the pipes already exist.

The rigs possess the capability to store CO₂ using the on-board equipment that was previously used to extract oil and natural gas, except it would, with minor modifications, be operated in reverse.

Annotated map of the North Sea.
North Sea oil (green) and gas (red) as of 2005. Some of these reservoirs are now empty and could be filled with captured carbon. wiki / USGS / Gautier, D.L

For now, the returns would be modest. Based on the amount of carbon these machines would typically capture – about 1 million tonnes of CO₂ a year requires machines covering half a square kilometre – a large oil rig might capture around 65,000 tonnes of CO₂ a year.

This of course isn’t much on a global scale. The UK alone emits 332 million tonnes annually. But all options are worth trying, and it’s a technology we can expect to improve in coming years.

It may also be possible to extract CO₂ directly from the oceans. Recent research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests this would actually be far more efficient. Carbon is 100 times more concentrated in seawater than it is in the sky, and this approach could ultimately begin reversing acidification in our oceans.

Rigs that can be moved to other sites on demand would be the perfect candidates, as the same rig could store CO₂ in many different sites under the sea. These sites include empty natural gas reservoirs and underground rivers, and it is this flexibility that could finally resolve the ongoing stalemate between the Ospar convention and the UK government.

The industry is still too small to deliver carbon removal on anything like the required scale. This is due to a lack of investment, and a very minimal market presence.

But, much like how the vaccines for COVID quickly matured due to the absolute necessity of the global pandemic, we now also require a significant mass investment to generate our own market that allows us to remove carbon. The US company Frontier, backed by tech giants, is providing US$925 million (£738 million) in order to stimulate such a market into existence.

Unfortunately, even this only represents between 0.1% and 1% of the total finances required every year up until 2050. That’s because, even in an optimistic scenario where renewables grow and global emissions are reduced, we’ll still need to remove 10 billion tonnes of carbon to compensate for the fact that industries like steel and cement are notoriously hard to decarbonise.

Ben Kolosz does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Read More

Continue Reading