For high-risk variants: Biontech develops corona early warning system

For high risk variants
Biontech develops corona early warning system

In the fight against the pandemic, Biontech has developed an early warning system together with the company InstaDeep in order to be one step ahead in the discovery of future virus variants. Artificial intelligence plays a key role in this. The system already worked in the test at Omikron.

Biontech has developed an early warning system with the British company InstaDeep to detect possible high-risk variants of the coronavirus. The Mainz-based biotech company announced today that the new calculation method uses artificial intelligence to analyze sequencing data available worldwide and can identify possible high-risk variants within less than a day.

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During the test period, the system recognized more than 90 percent of the virus variants identified by the World Health Organization, an average of two months in advance. The highly contagious Omicron variant was classified as a high-risk variant by the system on the first day its sequence became available. “The early detection of potential high-risk variants could be an effective tool to warn researchers, vaccine developers, health authorities and political decision-makers in a timely manner and thus to have more time to initiate appropriate measures against questionable new virus variants,” said Biontech boss Ugur Sahin.

Biontech entered into a long-term partnership with InstaDeep, a specialist in artificial intelligence, at the end of 2020, which is intended to support the company in the development of new immunotherapies.

Biontech expects sales of up to 17 billion in 2022

With its Covid-19 vaccine, Biontech expects sales of up to 17 billion euros this year. Last year, as previously predicted, sales were likely to have been between 16 and 17 billion euros. In 2022, CEO Sahin expects a range of 13 to 17 billion, according to a recently published investor presentation.

Biontech confirmed that a vaccine adapted to the Omikron variant of the coronavirus could be available as early as March. Overall, the company is aiming for a production capacity of up to four billion vaccine doses this year.

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