Connect with us

Global Banking and Finance Review is an online platform offering news, analysis, and opinion on the latest trends, developments, and innovations in the banking and finance industry worldwide. The platform covers a diverse range of topics, including banking, insurance, investment, wealth management, fintech, and regulatory issues. The website publishes news, press releases, opinion and advertorials on various financial organizations, products and services which are commissioned from various Companies, Organizations, PR agencies, Bloggers etc. These commissioned articles are commercial in nature. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. It does not reflect the views or opinion of our website and is not to be considered an endorsement or a recommendation. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third-party websites, affiliate sales networks, and to our advertising partners websites. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish advertised or sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a commercial article placement. We will not be responsible for any loss you may suffer as a result of any omission or inaccuracy on the website. .

Top Stories

Hungarian and US scientists win Nobel for COVID-19 vaccine discoveries

Hungarian and US scientists win Nobel for COVID-19 vaccine discoveries

By Ludwig Burger and Niklas Pollard

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Hungarian scientist Katalin Kariko and U.S. colleague Drew Weissman, who met in line for a photocopier before making mRNA molecule discoveries that paved the way for COVID-19 vaccines, won the 2023 Nobel Prize for Medicine on Monday.

“The laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times,” the Swedish award-giving body said in the latest accolade for the pair.

The prize, among the most prestigious in the scientific world, was selected by the Nobel Assembly of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute medical university and comes with 11 million Swedish crowns (about $1 million) to share between them.

Kariko, a former senior vice president and head of RNA protein replacement at German biotech firm BioNTech, is a professor at the University of Szeged in Hungary and adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

In an interview after the award, she said her late mother had long speculated that she might win the Nobel – to which she would remind her there was a time when she could not even get a grant for her research.

“She (my mother) said, ‘but you work so hard’. And I told her that many, many scientists work very, very hard,” added Kariko, who was sleeping when she received the call from Stockholm and initially thought it was a joke.

Co-winner Weissman, a professor in vaccine research also at Pennsylvania, said it was a “lifetime dream” to win and recalled working intensely with Kariko – including middle-of-the-night emails as they both suffered disturbed sleep.

“For the 20 years that we worked together, before anybody knew what RNA is or cared, it was the two of us, literally, side by side at a bench working together, talking and discussing new data,” he said in a recording on the Nobel website.

The two laureates in 2005 jointly developed so-called nucleoside base modifications, which stop the immune system from launching an inflammatory attack against lab-made mRNA, previously seen as a major hurdle against any therapeutic use of the technology.

MASS USE

BioNTech said in June that about 1.5 billion people across the world had received its mRNA shot, co-developed with Pfizer. It was the most widely-used shot in the West.

BioNTech, whose Germany-traded shares were up 3.8%, praised Kariko and Weissman for their passion and persistence.

Having grown up in a village in a house without running water or a refrigerator, Kariko got a biochemistry doctorate in Szeged before she and her husband sold their Soviet-made Lada car, sewed the money into their daughter’s teddy bear and went to the U.S. on a one-way ticket.

The daughter, Susan Francia, became a U.S. national rower and Olympic gold winner.

At the University of Pennsylvania, Kariko tried to turn mRNA into a treatment tool throughout the 1990s but struggled to win grants because work on DNA and gene therapy captured most of the scientific community’s attention at the time.

Kariko has said she endured ridicule from university colleagues for her dogged pursuit, and her failure to secure research grants led to her demotion in the 1990s.

Weissman received his doctorate from Boston University in 1987 and joined the University of Pennsylvania in 1997.

The two have said they met in 1998 while waiting for rationed photocopying machine time. The ensuing chat piqued immunologist Weissman’s interest in Kariko’s RNA work.

“It is absolutely right that the ground-breaking work on RNA led by Kariko and Weissman should be recognised by a Nobel Prize,” said Sir Andrew Pollard, an immunology professor at Oxford University, who pursued a different technology when co-developing the lesser-used COVID vaccine by AstraZeneca.

The award comes even as Germany’s CureVac, which failed to bring a COVID shot to market, as well as rival Moderna, are separately suing BioNTech and Pfizer for alleged mRNA patent infringements.

BioNTech and Pfizer, in turn, have launched legal challenges against the validity of the intellectual property rights in question.

PANDEMIC BREAKTHROUGH

Messenger or mRNA, discovered in 1961, is a natural molecule that serves as a recipe for the body”s production of proteins. Use of man-made mRNA to instruct human cells to make therapeutic proteins, long regarded as impossible, was commercially pioneered during the pandemic, also by Moderna.

Prospective mRNA uses include drugs against cancer and vaccines against malaria, influenza and rabies.

The medicine prize kicks off this year’s Nobel awards with the remaining five to be unveiled in coming days.

The prizes, first handed out in 1901, were created by Swedish dynamite inventor and wealthy businessman Alfred Nobel.

Last year’s medicine prize went to Swede Svante Paabo for sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal and other past winners include Alexander Fleming, who shared the 1945 prize for the discovery of penicillin.

($1 = 11.0129 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Niklas Pollard, Johan Ahlander in Stockholm, Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt, Krisztina Than in Budapest, Terje Solsvik in Oslo; editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Global Banking & Finance Review

 

Why waste money on news and opinions when you can access them for free?

Take advantage of our newsletter subscription and stay informed on the go!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Global Banking & Finance Review │ Banking │ Finance │ Technology. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Recent Post