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Renowned EU Scientist: COVID-19 Was Engineered In China Lab, Effective Vaccine “Unlikely”

Renowned EU Scientist: COVID-19 Was Engineered In China Lab, Effective Vaccine "Unlikely"

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Renowned EU Scientist: COVID-19 Was Engineered In China Lab, Effective Vaccine "Unlikely" Tyler Durden Fri, 08/21/2020 - 06:00

Authored by Steven Mosher via LifeSiteNews.com,

It will not be possible for the Dr. Fauci’s of the world to dismiss Professor Giuseppe Tritto as a crank. 

Not only is he an internationally known expert in biotechnology and nanotechnology who has had a stellar academic career, but he is also the president of the World Academy of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies (WABT), an institution founded under the aegis of UNESCO in 1997. 

In other words, he is a man of considerable stature in the global scientific community.  Equally important, one of the goals of WABT is to analyze the effect of biotechnologies - like genetic engineering - on humanity.  

In his new book, this world-class scientist does exactly that.  And what he says is that the China Virus definitely wasn’t a freak of nature that happened to cross the species barrier from bat to man.  It was genetically engineered in the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s P4 (high-containment) lab in a program supervised by the Chinese military.

Prof. Tritto’s book, which at present is available only in Italian, is called Cina COVID 19: La Chimera che ha cambiato il Mondo (China COVID 19: The chimera that changed the world).  It was published on August 4 by a major Italian press, Edizioni Cantagalli, which coincidentally also published the Italian edition of one of my books, Population Control (Controllo Demografico in Italian) several years ago. 

What sets Prof. Tritto’s book apart is the fact that it demonstrates - conclusively, in my view - the pathway by which a PLA-owned coronavirus was genetically modified to become the China Virus now ravaging the world.  His account leaves no doubt that it is a “chimera”, an organism created in a lab. 

He also connects the dots linking the Wuhan lab to France and the United States, showing how both countries provided financial and scientific help to the Chinese as they began to conduct ever more dangerous bioengineering experiments.  Although neither American nor French virologists are responsible for the end result—a highly infectious coronavirus and a global pandemic—their early involvement may explain why so many insist that the “chimera” must have come from nature.  The last thing they want to admit is that they might have had a hand in it.

Those of us who, early on, argued for a laboratory origin were dismissed as conspiracy theorists. Our articles were censored as “fake news,” often by American virologists who knew perfectly well what the truth was, but preferred to protect China, and themselves, from scrutiny lest they themselves be implicated. 

Dr. Tritto’s 272 pages of names, dates, places, and facts leaves such apologists with no place to hide

The story begins following the SARS epidemic of 2003, as the Chinese attempt to develop vaccines to combat the deadly disease.  Dr. Shi Zhengli, about whom I have previously written, was in charge of the program at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

In vaccine development, reverse genetics is used to create viral strains that have reduced pathogenicity but to which the immune system responds by creating antibodies against the virus. But reverse genetics can also be used to create viral strains that have increased pathogenicity.  That is what Dr. Shi, encouraged by PLA bioweapons experts, began increasingly to focus her research on, according to Prof. Tritto.

Dr. Shi first solicited help from the French government, which built the P4 lab, and from the country’s Pasteur institute, which showed her how to manipulate HIV genomes. The gene insertion method used is called “reverse genetics system 2.”  Using this method, she inserted an HIV segment into a coronavirus discovered in horseshoe bats to make it more infectious and lethal.  

The U.S. was involved as well, particularly Prof Ralph S. Baric, of the University of North Carolina, who was on the receiving end of major grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.  This is, of course, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s shop.  Fauci was a big proponent of “gain of function” research, and when this was prohibited at Baric’s lab because it was considered to be too dangerous, the research was shifted to China.

Prof. Tritto believes that, while Dr. Shi’s research began as an effort to develop a vaccine against SARS, it gradually morphed into an effort to use “reverse genetics” to build lethal biological weapons.  This was the reason that the Wuhan lab became China’s leading center for virology research in recent years, attracting major funding and support from the central government.

I would add that the rule in Communist-controlled China is “let the civilian support the military,” which means that as soon as Dr. Shi’s research showed any potential military uses the PLA would have begun exercising control of the research.  This came out in the open with the outbreak, when China’s leading expert on bioweapons, People’s Liberation Army Major General Chen Wei, was immediately placed in charge of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. As for Dr. Shi Zheng-Li, she seems to have disappeared.

As Dr. Tritto explained in an interview with Italian media:

In 2005, after the SARS epidemic, the Wuhan Institute of Virology was born, headed by Dr. Shi Zheng-Li, who collects coronaviruses from certain bat species and recombines them with other viral components in order to create vaccines. In 2010 she came into contact with American researchers led by Prof. Ralph Baric, who in turn works on recombinant viruses based on coronaviruses. Thanks to the matrix viruses provided by Shi, Baric created in 2015 a mouse Sars-virus chimera, which has a pathogenic effect on human cells analyzed in vitro. 

At that point, the China-US collaboration becomes competition. Shi wants to work on a more powerful virus to make a more powerful vaccine: it combines a bat virus with a pangolin virus in vitro and in 2017 publishes the results of this research in some scientific articles. 

Her research attracts the interest of the Chinese military and medical-biological sector which deals with biological weapons used as a deterrent for defensive and offensive purposes. Thus Shi is joined by doctors and biologists who belong to the political-military sphere, such as Guo Deyin, a scholar of anti-AIDS and anti-viral hepatitis vaccines and expert in genetic recombination techniques. The introduction of the new engineered inserts into the virus genome is the result of the collaboration between the Shi team and that of Guo Deyin. The realization of this new chimera, from a scientific point of view, is a success. So much so that, once the epidemic has broken out, the two researchers ask WHO to register it as a new virus, H-nCoV-19 (Human new Covid 19), and not as another virus derived from SARS. It is reasonable to think that Shi acted only from the point of view of scientific prestige, without however taking into account the risks in terms of security and the political-military interests that her research would have aroused.

When asked why China has refused to provide the complete genome of the China Virus to the WHO or to other countries, Dr. Tritto explained that “providing the matrix [source] virus would have meant admitting that SARS-CoV-2 [China Virus] was created in the laboratory. In fact, the incomplete genome made available by China lacks some inserts of AIDS amino acids, which itself is a smoking gun.” 

The key question, for those of us who are living through the pandemic, concerns the development of a vaccine.  On this score, Prof. Tritto is not optimistic:

Given the many mutations of SARS-CoV-2, it is extremely unlikely that a single vaccine that blocks the virus will be found. At the moment 11 different strains have been identified: the A2a genetic line which developed in Europe and the B1 genetic line which took root in North America are more contagious than the 0 strain originating in Wuhan. I therefore believe that, at the most, a multivalent vaccine can be found effective on 4-5 strains and thus able to cover 70-75% of the world’s population.

In other words, by withholding from the world the original genetic code of the China Virus that it created, the Chinese Communist Party is ensuring that no completely effective vaccine will ever be developed by the West.

In other words, China continues to lie, and people continue to die. 

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Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

In response to the virus pandemic and nationwide…

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Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

In response to the virus pandemic and nationwide Black Lives Matter riots in the summer of 2020, some elite colleges and universities shredded testing requirements for admission. Several years later, the test-optional admission has yet to produce the promising results for racial and class-based equity that many woke academic institutions wished.

The failure of test-optional admission policies has forced Dartmouth College to reinstate standardized test scores for admission starting next year. This should never have been eliminated, as merit will always prevail. 

"Nearly four years later, having studied the role of testing in our admissions process as well as its value as a predictor of student success at Dartmouth, we are removing the extended pause and reactivating the standardized testing requirement for undergraduate admission, effective with the Class of 2029," Dartmouth wrote in a press release Monday morning. 

"For Dartmouth, the evidence supporting our reactivation of a required testing policy is clear. Our bottom line is simple: we believe a standardized testing requirement will improve—not detract from—our ability to bring the most promising and diverse students to our campus," the elite college said. 

Who would've thought eliminating standardized tests for admission because a fringe minority said they were instruments of racism and a biased system was ever a good idea? 

Also, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. More from Dartmouth, who commissioned the research: 

They also found that test scores represent an especially valuable tool to identify high-achieving applicants from low and middle-income backgrounds; who are first-generation college-bound; as well as students from urban and rural backgrounds.

All the colleges and universities that quickly adopted test-optional admissions in 2020 experienced a surge in applications. Perhaps the push for test-optional was under the guise of woke equality but was nothing more than protecting the bottom line for these institutions. 

A glimpse of sanity returns to woke schools: Admit qualified kids. Next up is corporate America and all tiers of the US government. 

Tyler Durden Mon, 02/05/2024 - 17:20

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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…

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To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….

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Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 

 

About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. www.insilico.com 


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