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FTR#1168 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 24: A Pound of Cure, Part 3

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FTR #1168 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: Sig­nif­i­cant to the issue of vac­ci­na­tion against Covid-19 is the con­sid­er­a­tion of whether avail­able vac­cines will pre­vent ill­ness in the recip­i­ents, but still leave them capa­ble of spread­ing the dis­ease.

The first major por­tion of the pro­gram con­sists of ana­lyt­i­cal review of the cap­i­tal inter­ests behind BioNTech–the Ger­man cor­po­rate part­ner pro­duc­ing a Covid vac­cine with Pfiz­er.

Head­ed by a Ger­man MD cou­ple whose par­ents were “gas­tar­beit­er” (guest work­ers), BioN­Tech has soared expo­nen­tial­ly in val­ue since the approval of the vac­cine by a num­ber of coun­tries.

A dom­i­nant con­sid­er­a­tion in pow­er pol­i­tics remains the advi­so­ry to “Fol­low the Mon­ey.”

Against the back­ground of I.G. Far­ben and its suc­ces­sor com­pa­nies’ dom­i­nant posi­tion in both the glob­al phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and chem­i­cal mar­ket, as well as its major posi­tion with­in the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work, the pro­gram explores the cap­i­tal­iza­tion of Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türe­ci’s Ganymed firm and BioN­Tech.

Of para­mount sig­nif­i­cance in both Ganymed (the cou­ple’s ini­tial com­mer­cial ven­ture) and BioN­tech are twin broth­ers Thomas and Andreas Stru­eng­mann.

Key points of analy­sis:

  1. The broth­ers are major play­ers in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and biotech mar­ket.
  2. They keep a pur­pose­ful­ly low pro­fes­sion­al profile–a pro­fes­sion­al behav­ior char­ac­ter­is­tic of the dead­ly Bor­mann net­work.
  3. Thomas was an impor­tant mem­ber of the board of Wack­er Chemie, a major suc­ces­sor to two I.G. Far­ben sub­sidiary com­pa­nies.
  4. Wack­er Chemie has appar­ent­ly obfus­cat­ed its Nazi past.
  5. Andreas ini­ti­at­ed his med­ical career in apartheid South Africa, and the broth­ers’ Hexal firm began its sig­nif­i­cant inter­na­tion­al expan­sion in that coun­try. (The apartheid regime was an off­shoot of the Third Reich.)
  6. Firms that evolved from I.G. Far­ben fig­ure promi­nent­ly in the deal­ings of Hexal, Wack­er Chemie and BioN­Tech (Novar­tis, the Hoechst divi­sion of Sanofi-Aven­tis.)

The bal­ance of the pro­gram presents analy­sis of the pro­found rela­tion­ship between the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work and I.G. Far­ben.

Forged dur­ing the clos­ing days of the war, the close coop­er­a­tion between cor­po­rate “masker” Her­mann Schmitz and Bor­mann, the rela­tion­ship built on the dom­i­nant posi­tion of I.G. Far­ben in the Third Reich and its inter­re­lat­ed mil­i­tary and industrial/commercial cam­paigns.

” . . . . If there is any doubt in Europe who in the long run won the peace, there is none what­so­ev­er among the for­mer Ger­man lead­ers dwelling in South Amer­i­ca. It is a good bet that if Her­mann Schmitz were alive today, he would bear wit­ness as to who real­ly won. Schmitz died con­tent­ed, hav­ing wit­nessed the resur­gence of I.G. Far­ben, albeit in altered cor­po­rate forms, a mon­ey machine that con­tin­ues to gen­er­ate prof­its for all the old I.G. share­hold­ers and enor­mous inter­na­tion­al pow­er for the Ger­man cadre direct­ing the work­ings of the suc­ces­sor firms. . . . He was the mas­ter manip­u­la­tor, the cor­po­rate and finan­cial wiz­ard, the magi­cian, who could make mon­ey appear and dis­ap­pear, and reap­pear again. His whole exis­tence was leg­erde­main, played out on the game­board of I.G. Far­ben and his beloved Ger­many. . . Their [Schmitz and Bor­mann] asso­ci­a­tion was close and trust­ing over the years, and it is the con­sid­ered opin­ion of those in their cir­cle that the wealth pos­sessed by Her­mann Schmitz was shift­ed to Switzer­land and South Amer­i­ca, and placed in trust with Bor­mann, the legal heir to Hitler. [Her­mann] Schmitz’s wealth—largely I.G. Far­ben bear­er bonds con­vert­ed to the Big Three suc­ces­sor firms, shares in Stan­dard Oil of New Jer­sey (equal to those held by the Rock­e­fellers), as well as shares in the 750 cor­po­ra­tions he helped Bor­mann estab­lish dur­ing the last year of World War II—has increased in all seg­ments of the mod­ern indus­tri­al world. The Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion in South Amer­i­ca uti­lizes the vot­ing pow­er of the Schmitz trust along with their own assets to guide the multi­na­tion­als they con­trol, as they keep steady the eco­nom­ic course of the Father­land. . . . ”

After the war, the three main suc­ces­sor firms to I.G.–Hoechst (now a divi­sion of Sanofi-Aven­tis), Bay­er and BASF rose to a pin­na­cle of sales and R & D dom­i­nance.

Review of Dorothy Thomp­son’s 1940 analy­sis of the Third Reich blue­print for world polit­i­cal dom­i­na­tion, pred­i­cat­ed on world eco­nom­ic dom­i­na­tion (includ­ing the exploita­tion of deci­sive car­tel rela­tion­ships with the Wall Street elite; an account of Ber­tels­man­n’s forth­com­ing pur­chase of Simon & Schus­ter, mak­ing this “for­mer” pub­lish­ing house for the SS a “Titan” in Eng­lish-lan­guage pub­lish­ing; a syn­op­tic review of the sce­nario pre­sent­ed in the Nazi tract Ser­pen­t’s Walk.

1a. Sig­nif­i­cant to the issue of vac­ci­na­tion against Covid-19 is the con­sid­er­a­tion of whether avail­able vac­cines will pre­vent ill­ness in the recip­i­ents, but still leave them capa­ble of spread­ing the dis­ease.

“A Vac­cine Pro­tects You, But What About Oth­ers? That’s Where Masks Come In” by Apoor­va Man­davili; The New York Times; 12/09/2020; p. A5.

 The new Covid-19 vac­cines from Pfiz­er and Mod­er­na seem to be remark­ably good at pre­vent­ing seri­ous ill­ness. But it’s unclear how well they will curb the spread of the coro­n­avirus.

Thats’s because the Pfiz­er and Mod­er­na tri­als tracked only how many vac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple became sick with Covid-19. That leaves open the pos­si­bil­i­ty that some vac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple get infect­ed with­out devel­op­ing symp­toms, and could then silent­ly trans­mit the virus—especially if they come in close con­tact with oth­ers or stop wear­ing masks.

If vac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple are silent spread­ers of the virus, they may keep it cir­cu­lat­ing in their com­mu­ni­ties, putting unvac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple at risk.

“A lot of peo­ple are think­ing that once they get vac­ci­nat­ed, they’re not going to have to wear masks any­more,” said Michal Tal, an immu­nol­o­gist at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, “It’s real­ly going to be crit­i­cal for them to know if they have to keep wear­ing masks, because they could still be con­ta­gious.”

In most res­pi­ra­to­ry infec­tions, includ­ing the new coro­n­avirus, the nose is the main port of entry. The virus rapid­ly mul­ti­plies there, jolt­ing the immune sys­tem to pro­duce a type of anti­bod­ies that are spe­cif­ic to mucosa, the moist tis­sue lin­ing the nose, mouth, lungs and stom­ach. If the same per­son is exposed to the virus a sec­ond time, those anti­bod­ies, as well as immune cells that remem­ber the virus, rapid­ly shut down the virus in the nose before it gets a chance to take hold else­where in the body.

The coro­n­avirus vac­cines, in con­trast, are inject­ed deep into the mus­cles and quick­ly absorbed into the blood, where they stim­u­late the immune sys­tem to pro­duce anti­bod­ies. This appears to be enough pro­tec­tion to keep the vac­ci­nat­ed per­son from get­ting ill.

Some of these anti­bod­ies will cir­cu­late to the nasal mucosa and stand guard there, but it’s not clear how much of the anti­body pool can be mobi­lized, or how quick­ly. If the answer is not much, then virus­es could bloom in the nose—and be sneezed or breathed out to infect oth­ers.

“It’s a race: It depends whether the virus can repli­cate faster, or the immune sys­tem can con­trol it faster,” said Mar­i­on Pep­per, an immu­nol­o­gist at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton in Seat­tle. “It’s a real­ly impor­tant ques­tion.” . . . .

. . . . “Pre­vent­ing severe dis­ease is eas­i­est, pre­vent­ing mild dis­ease is hard­er, and pre­vent­ing all infec­tions is the hard­est,” said Deep­ta Bat­tacharya, an immu­nol­o­gist at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ari­zona. “It’s going to be some­thing less than that in pre­vent­ing all infec­tions, for sure,” Still, he and oth­er experts said they were opti­mistic that the vac­cines would sup­press the virus enough even in the nose and throat to pre­vent immu­nized peo­ple from spread­ing it to oth­ers. . . .

. . . . But some stud­ies have sug­gest­ed that even peo­ple with no symp­toms can have high amounts of coro­n­avirus in their nose, not­ed Dr. Yvonne Mal­don­a­do, who rep­re­sents the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Pedi­atrics at meet­ings of the fed­er­al Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee on Immu­niza­tion Prac­tices. The first per­son con­firmed to be rein­fect­ed with the coro­n­avirus, a 33-year-old man in Hong Kong, also did not have symp­toms, but har­bored enough virus to infect oth­ers.

Vac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple who have a high viral load but don’t have symp­toms “would actu­al­ly, be in some ways, even worse spread­ers because they may be under a false sense of secu­ri­ty,” Dr. Mal­don­a­do said. . . .

1b. The first major sec­tion of the pro­gram con­sists of ana­lyt­i­cal review of the cap­i­tal inter­ests behind BioNTech–the Ger­man cor­po­rate part­ner pro­duc­ing a Covid vac­cine with Pfiz­er.

Head­ed by a Ger­man MD cou­ple whose par­ents were “gas­tar­beit­er” (guest work­ers), BioN­Tech has soared expo­nen­tial­ly in val­ue since the approval of the vac­cine by a num­ber of coun­tries.

A dom­i­nant con­sid­er­a­tion in pow­er pol­i­tics remains the advi­so­ry to “Fol­low the Mon­ey.”

Against the back­ground of I.G. Far­ben and its suc­ces­sor com­pa­nies’ dom­i­nant posi­tion in both the glob­al phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and chem­i­cal mar­ket, as well as its major posi­tion with­in the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work, the pro­gram explores the cap­i­tal­iza­tion of Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türe­ci’s Ganymed firm and BioN­Tech.

Of para­mount sig­nif­i­cance in both Ganymed (the cou­ple’s ini­tial com­mer­cial ven­ture) and BioN­tech are twin broth­ers Thomas and Andreas Stru­eng­mann.

Key points of analy­sis:

  1. The broth­ers are major play­ers in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and biotech mar­ket.
  2. They keep a pur­pose­ful­ly low pro­fes­sion­al profile–a pro­fes­sion­al behav­ior char­ac­ter­is­tic of the dead­ly Bor­mann net­work.
  3. Thomas was an impor­tant mem­ber of the board of Wack­er Chemie, a major suc­ces­sor to two I.G. Far­ben sub­sidiary com­pa­nies.
  4. Wack­er Chemie has appar­ent­ly obfus­cat­ed its Nazi past.
  5. Andreas ini­ti­at­ed his med­ical career in apartheid South Africa, and the broth­ers’ Hexal firm began its sig­nif­i­cant inter­na­tion­al expan­sion in that coun­try. (The apartheid regime was an off­shoot of the Third Reich.)
  6. Firms that evolved from I.G. Far­ben fig­ure promi­nent­ly in the deal­ings of Hexal, Wack­er Chemie and BioN­Tech (Novar­tis, the Hoechst divi­sion of Sanofi-Aven­tis.)

1c. The I.G. Far­ben com­pa­ny, a core ele­ment of the Third Reich, was cen­tral to Bormann’s plans to secret Germany’s wealth abroad. Note, also, I.G. Farben’s dom­i­nance of the Euro­pean chem­i­cal indus­try, and the opin­ion of Dr. von Schnit­zler that tech­ni­cal depen­dence on I.G. facil­i­ties would con­tin­ue after the war. (To learn more about I.G. Far­ben, see—among oth­er programs–FTR#’s 305, 411, 506, 552. Seri­ous stu­dents should also read Treason’s Peace and The Devil’s Chemists, avail­able for down­load.)

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p. 28.

 . . . I.G. Far­ben was a for­mi­da­ble ally for Reich­sleit­er Bor­mann in his plans for the post­war eco­nom­ic rebirth of Ger­many. In a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion with Dr. von Schnit­zler, Bor­mann asked what would the loss of fac­to­ries in France and the oth­er occu­pied coun­tries mean to Ger­man indus­try in gen­er­al and to I.G. in par­tic­u­lar. Dr. von Schnit­zler said he believed the tech­ni­cal depen­dence of these coun­tries on I.G. would be so great that despite Ger­man defeat I.G., in one way or anoth­er, could regain its posi­tion of con­trol of the Euro­pean chem­i­cal busi­ness. “They will need the con­stant tech­ni­cal help of I.G.’s sci­en­tif­ic lab­o­ra­to­ries as they do not own appro­pri­ate instal­la­tions with­in them­selves.” . . . . 

2. Bor­mann and Her­rmann Schmitz then dis­cussed I.G.’s prospects for the post­war peri­od. The cozy rela­tion­ship with pow­er­ful ele­ments with­in the pow­er elites of the West­ern allies was fore­seen by Schmitz as bod­ing well for the company’s future. Schmitz’s pre­dic­tions were rel­a­tive­ly accu­rate. Nei­ther Schmitz nor any of the I.G. Far­ben exec­u­tives were severe­ly pun­ished and the firm’s three suc­ces­sor firms car­ried on effec­tive­ly in the post­war peri­od.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p. 158.

. . . . The Reich­sleit­er asked Schmitz his views of the future. Schmitz replied, ‘The occu­pa­tion armies will be under­stand­ing in the West, but cer­tain­ly not in the East. I have instruct­ed all Far­ben admin­is­tra­tors and tech­ni­cians to come to the West, where they can be of use in resum­ing our oper­a­tions once the dis­tur­bances of 1945 come to a halt.’ Schmitz added that, while gen­er­al bomb dam­age to the I.G. plants was about 25 per­cent of capac­i­ty, some were untouched. He men­tioned speak­ing with Field Mar­shal Mod­el, who was com­mand­ing the defens­es of the Ruhr. ‘Mod­el had planned to turn our Bay­er-Leberkusen phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal fac­to­ry into an artillery base, but he agreed to make it an open, unde­fend­ed fac­to­ry. Hope­ful­ly, we will get it back untouched.’ ‘What about your board of direc­tors and the essen­tial exec­u­tives? If they are held by the occu­pa­tion author­i­ties, can I.G. con­tin­ue?’ Bor­mann asked. ‘We can con­tin­ue. We have an oper­a­tional plan for such a con­tin­gency, which every­one under­stands. How­ev­er, I don’t believe our board mem­bers will be detained too long. Nor will I. But we must go through a pro­ce­dure of inves­ti­ga­tion before release, so I have been told by our N.W. 7 peo­ple who have excel­lent con­tacts in Wash­ing­ton.” . . . . 

3. The broad­cast details the pro­found rela­tion­ship between I.G. Far­ben and the gov­ern­ment of the Third Reich. Of par­tic­u­lar util­i­ty to the Bor­mann flight cap­i­tal pro­gram was I.G. Farben’s elab­o­rate infra­struc­ture in for­eign coun­tries. Note that, as is seen here, I.G. Far­ben was inex­tri­ca­bly linked with both the gov­ern­ment of the Third Reich and with the Nazi par­ty itself.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p. 54.

 . . . This, too, report­ed to Mar­tin Bormann.I.G. Farben’s N.W.7 office in Berlin com­piled mil­i­tary and eco­nom­ic data on all coun­tries for the Wehrma­cht. This depart­ment was staffed with men of rec­og­nized abil­i­ty in all branch­es of busi­ness and sci­ence. It was under the direc­tion of Dr. Max Ilgn­er, nephew of Her­mann Schmitz, I.G.’s pres­i­dent, who was known through­out the indus­tri­al world as ‘the mas­ter of finan­cial cam­ou­flage.’ [Empha­sis added.] Far­ben had offices and rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 93 coun­tries, and no social gath­er­ing of busi­ness­men was too small to be cov­ered by an N.W.7 rep­re­sen­ta­tive, whose reports on mar­ket con­di­tions, fac­to­ry instal­la­tions, raw-mate­r­i­al sup­plies, and research were trans­mit­ted imme­di­ate­ly to Berlin and Dr. Ilgn­er. In the Unit­ed States, N.W.7 oper­at­ed through the firm of Chem­ny­co, Inc., an Amer­i­can-formed sub­sidiary. Chem­ny­co sent tremen­dous amounts of infor­ma­tion rang­ing from pho­tographs and blue prints to detailed descrip­tions of entire indus­tri­al com­plex­es and secret process­es. . . . 

4. Of par­tic­u­lar impor­tance for this dis­cus­sion is the fact that I.G. used Ger­man mil­i­tary con­quest to gain effec­tive func­tion­al con­trol of the chem­i­cal indus­try of the con­ti­nent. In para­graph 13, we not­ed Georg von Scnitzler’s pre­dic­tion that I.G.’s tech­ni­cal dom­i­nance would result in the post­war per­pet­u­a­tion of this con­trol. As we will see, this con­trol was main­tained. It is against the back­ground of I.G. Farben’s con­tin­ued dom­i­nance of the Euro­pean chem­i­cal indus­try as well as the post­war per­pet­u­a­tion of the Nazi par­ty appa­ra­tus that the BioN­Tech cap­i­tal­iza­tion rela­tion­ship must be viewed!

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 55–56.

 . . . This huge orga­ni­za­tion func­tioned as a man­u­fac­tur­ing and research arm of the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, with the respon­si­bil­i­ty of dis­cov­er­ing all pos­si­ble means of increas­ing the mil­i­tary pow­er of Ger­many. More than RM 4.25 bil­lion was invest­ed in new plants, mines, and pow­er instal­la­tions, with oth­er mil­lions going into new research facil­i­ties. . . . So close had Far­ben become to the gov­ern­ment that I.G. always knew in advance all inva­sions planned by Hitler. It was to sup­ply the mate­ri­als nec­es­sary to each con­quest, and when a land had been over­run and sub­ju­gat­ed, the Far­ben experts would han­dle the con­sol­i­da­tion and orga­ni­za­tion of the indus­tri­al facil­i­ties as addi­tion­al sup­ply sources for the Ger­man armed forces. As Ger­man troops swept across Europe and Hitler pro­claimed his vision of a thou­sand-year Third Reich, I.G. Far­ben also dreamed of world empire. This was out­lined with clar­i­ty in a doc­u­ment called Neuord­nung, or ‘New Order,’ that was accom­pa­nied by a let­ter of trans­mit­tal to the Min­istry of Eco­nom­ics. It declared that a new order for the chem­i­cal indus­try of the world should sup­ple­ment Hitler’s New Order. There­fore, the doc­u­ment stat­ed, Far­ben was fit­ting future indus­tri­al plans into such a frame­work. . . . I.G. Far­ben was the major chem­i­cal firm on the Con­ti­nent, and as each coun­try fell to Ger­many its acqui­si­tions of chem­i­cal and dyestuff com­pa­nies were enor­mous. I.G. also increased its invest­ments in these by RM 7 bil­lion. [Empha­sis added.] . . . . 

5. More about I.G. Far­ben, the Third Reich and the devel­op­ment of the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 56–58.

. . . .The close rela­tion­ship of Far­ben to the Third Reich lead­er­ship was under­scored in oth­er ways. I.G.’s lead­ing offi­cials assist­ed in for­mu­la­tion and exe­cu­tion of eco­nom­ic poli­cies of gov­ern­ment; its pres­i­dent was a mem­ber of the Reich­stag; its lead­ing sci­en­tist was a chief assis­tant to Her­mann Goer­ing under the Four-Year Plan; its sta­tis­ti­cians and econ­o­mists pre­pared intel­li­gence for the Nazi High Com­mand; scores of its tech­ni­cians were at any giv­en time on loan to the air and war min­istries. . . . The con­tact men of N.W.7 through­out the world were called the I.G. Verbindungs­man­ner, the liai­son offi­cers between Far­ben back in Ger­many and the branch­es else­where. These I.G. Verbindungs­man­ner, as well as all oth­er key Far­ben rep­re­sen­ta­tives work­ing beyond the bor­ders of the Third Reich, were mem­bers of the Nation­al Social­ist Ger­man Work­ers Par­ty. . . . So now Mar­tin Bor­mann had at his com­mand not only the Aus­lands-Organ­i­sa­tion but also the I.G. Verbindungs­man­ner of Far­ben, which could be count­ed on to heed his orders when it was time to dis­perse the com­mer­cial assets of the Third Reich. . . . 

6. The vast inter­na­tion­al oper­a­tions of the I.G. Far­ben firm and its var­i­ous sub­sidiary oper­a­tions was a prin­ci­pal ele­ment of the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion. I.G. Far­ben chief Her­mann Schmitz dis­cussed I.G.’s involve­ment with the Bor­mann pro­gram.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 157–158.

. . . . In tes­ti­mo­ny lat­er giv­en to Nurem­berg inves­ti­ga­tors, Schmitz praised Bor­mann for the way he had direct­ed the dis­tri­b­u­tion of Ger­man assets around the world. His own Far­ben orga­ni­za­tion had, of course, con­tributed to the suc­cess of the oper­a­tion. Every region­al rep­re­sen­ta­tive work­ing for Her­mann Schmitz was an excep­tion­al busi­ness­man, or he would not have been with I.G. All had con­tributed sound advice in their areas of com­pe­tence, the regions of the world where they rep­re­sent­ed Far­ben while keep­ing an eye on the sub­sidiaries of the par­ent con­cern and the 700 hid­den cor­po­ra­tions they con­trolled. They had pro­vid­ed assis­tance and con­tin­u­ing guid­ance in estab­lish­ing the 750 new com­pa­nies cre­at­ed on order of Bor­mann, who want­ed more than hid­den assets; Bor­mann want­ed the mon­ey and patents and tech­ni­cians put to work to cre­ate even greater assets that would bol­ster Ger­many in the post­war years. In their meet­ing in the chan­cellery, both men checked over the fig­ures of sums dis­bursed, and they were accu­rate to the pfen­nig. . . .

7. As fore­cast by Dr. Scheid in the August 10, 1944 meet­ing, the cor­po­rate allies of the major Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions, includ­ing and espe­cial­ly those of I.G. Far­ben, proved to be of great val­ue to the suc­cess of the Bor­mann flight cap­i­tal pro­gram.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p156.

. . . . Pow­er­ful friends of the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion in all West­ern coun­tries, includ­ing those sprin­kled in con­trol points through­out the admin­is­tra­tion in Wash­ing­ton and in the finan­cial and bro­ker­age busi­ness­es of Wall Street, the City of Lon­don, and the Paris estab­lish­ment, did not wish a coor­di­nat­ed dri­ve to get at these exter­nal Ger­man assets. They had under­stand­able rea­sons, if you over­look moral­i­ty: the finan­cial ben­e­fits for coop­er­a­tion (col­lab­o­ra­tion had become an old-hat term with the war wind­ing down) were very entic­ing, depend­ing on one’s impor­tance and abil­i­ty to be of ser­vice to the orga­ni­za­tion and the 750 cor­po­ra­tions they were secret­ly manip­u­lat­ing, to say noth­ing of the known multi­na­tion­als such as I.G. Far­ben, Thyssen A.G., and Siemens; and, as a sec­ond rea­son, the phi­los­o­phy of free enter­prise and preser­va­tion of pri­vate prop­er­ty. . . .

8. Note the post­war resus­ci­ta­tion of I.G. Far­ben, in the form of the “Big Three” suc­ces­sor firms that grew out Far­ben. Although offi­cial­ly bro­ken up at the end of World War II, I.G. Far­ben con­tin­ued func­tion­ing in new form. Recent merg­ers (such as the 1996 merg­er of I.G. car­tel affil­i­ates Ciba-Geigy and San­doz to form Novar­tis) indi­cate a new com­ing togeth­er of the old com­po­nents of I.G. Again, pay close atten­tion to the rela­tion­ship between these com­pa­nies and the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p. 282.

. . . . By 1956, the three major multi­na­tion­als (Hoechst, BASF, and Bay­er) reshaped from the 159 com­pa­nies with­in Ger­many that had com­prised I.G. Far­ben were gen­er­at­ing record prof­its for the orig­i­nal 450 major Far­ben stock­hold­ers, who had orga­nized them­selves into the I.G. Far­ben Stock­hold­ers Pro­tec­tive com­mit­tee in Bonn. The Big Three went on expand­ing, tripling cap­i­tal­iza­tion in 1956 from invest­ment funds that poured in from the inter­lock­ing com­pa­nies estab­lished in safe haven coun­tries by Mar­tin Bor­mann and Her­mann Schmitz. There was a return, more vig­or­ous than ever, of the huge, mono­lith­ic indus­tri­al multi­na­tion­als that dom­i­nat­ed the Ger­man econ­o­my before and dur­ing World War II. . . .

9. The enor­mous cor­po­rate wealth and pow­er of the three suc­ces­sor firms is at the dis­pos­al of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work and Under­ground Reich.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p. 282–283.

. . . . Each of these three spin­offs from I.G. Far­ben today does more busi­ness indi­vid­u­al­ly than did Far­ben at its zenith, when its cor­po­rate struc­ture cov­ered 93 coun­tries. BASF and Bay­er indi­vid­u­al­ly boast world­wide sales of near­ly $10 bil­lion annu­al­ly, while Hoechst, now the world’s largest chem­i­cal com­pa­ny, gen­er­at­ed $16.01 bil­lion in world­wide sales in 1980. Each does more busi­ness than E.I. du Pont de Nemours, with sales of $9.4 bil­lion. The Unit­ed States is, of course, the major mar­ket, one into which these Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions con­tin­ue to pour invest­ment mon­ey for both new cap­i­tal con­struc­tion and cor­po­rate takeovers. Togeth­er, these three multi­na­tion­als assure per­ma­nent pros­per­i­ty for the orig­i­nal 450 Far­ben stock­hold­ers, their banks, and the shad­owy share­hold­ers of the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion in South Amer­i­ca who guard and vote the Her­mann Schmitz trust fund through inter­me­di­aries at the annu­al meet­ings of BASF, Bay­er and Hoechst. [Empha­sis added.] . . . . 

10. A sig­nif­i­cant part of the I.G. Far­ben lega­cy, the Her­mann Schmitz Trust is also at the dis­pos­al of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work and the Under­ground Reich.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 279–280.

. . . . If there is any doubt in Europe who in the long run won the peace, there is none what­so­ev­er among the for­mer Ger­man lead­ers dwelling in South Amer­i­ca. It is a good bet that if Her­mann Schmitz were alive today, he would bear wit­ness as to who real­ly won. Schmitz died con­tent­ed, hav­ing wit­nessed the resur­gence of I.G. Far­ben, albeit in altered cor­po­rate forms, a mon­ey machine that con­tin­ues to gen­er­ate prof­its for all the old I.G. share­hold­ers and enor­mous inter­na­tion­al pow­er for the Ger­man cadre direct­ing the work­ings of the suc­ces­sor firms. . . . He was the mas­ter manip­u­la­tor, the cor­po­rate and finan­cial wiz­ard, the magi­cian, who could make mon­ey appear and dis­ap­pear, and reap­pear again. His whole exis­tence was leg­erde­main, played out on the game­board of I.G. Far­ben and his beloved Ger­many. . . Their [Schmitz and Bor­mann] asso­ci­a­tion was close and trust­ing over the years, and it is the con­sid­ered opin­ion of those in their cir­cle that the wealth pos­sessed by Her­mann Schmitz was shift­ed to Switzer­land and South Amer­i­ca, and placed in trust with Bor­mann, the legal heir to Hitler. [Her­mann] Schmitz’s wealth—largely I.G. Far­ben bear­er bonds con­vert­ed to the Big Three suc­ces­sor firms, shares in Stan­dard Oil of New Jer­sey (equal to those held by the Rock­e­fellers), as well as shares in the 750 cor­po­ra­tions he helped Bor­mann estab­lish dur­ing the last year of World War II—has increased in all seg­ments of the mod­ern indus­tri­al world. The Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion in South Amer­i­ca uti­lizes the vot­ing pow­er of the Schmitz trust along with their own assets to guide the multi­na­tion­als they con­trol, as they keep steady the eco­nom­ic course of the Father­land. . . . 

11. In clos­ing, the pro­gram notes the eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the Bor­mann net­work:

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 284–285.

. . . . Atop an orga­ni­za­tion­al pyra­mid that dom­i­nates the indus­try of West Ger­many through banks, vot­ing rights enjoyed by major­i­ty share­hold­ers in sig­nif­i­cant car­tels, and the pro­fes­sion­al input of a rel­a­tive­ly young lead­er­ship group of lawyers, invest­ment spe­cial­ists, bankers, and indus­tri­al­ists, he is sat­is­fied that he achieved his aim of help­ing the Father­land back on its feet. To ensure con­ti­nu­ity of pur­pose and direc­tion, a close watch is main­tained on the prof­it state­ments and man­age­ment reports of cor­po­ra­tions under its con­trol else­where. This lead­er­ship group of twen­ty, which is in fact a board of direc­tors, is chaired by Bor­mann, but pow­er has shift­ed to the younger men who will car­ry on the ini­tia­tive that grew from that his­toric meet­ing in Stras­bourg on August 10, 1944. Old Hein­rich Mueller, chief of secu­ri­ty for the NSDAP in South Amer­i­ca, is the most feared of all, hav­ing the pow­er of life and death over those deemed not to be act­ing in the best inter­ests of the orga­ni­za­tion. Some still envi­sion a Fourth Reich. . .What will not pass is the eco­nom­ic influ­ences of the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion, whose com­mer­cial direc­tives are obeyed almost with­out ques­tion by the high­est ech­e­lons of West Ger­man finance and indus­try. ‘All orders come from the share­hold­ers in South Amer­i­ca,’ I have been told by a spokesman for Mar­tin Bor­mann. . . . 

12a. We close with Dorothy Thompson’s analy­sis of Germany’s plans for world dom­i­nance by a cen­tral­ized Euro­pean eco­nomic union, uti­liz­ing dom­i­nant cor­po­rate rela­tion­ships with Amer­i­can cor­po­ra­tions to effect con­trol of the Unit­ed States.

Ms. Thomp­son was writ­ing in The New York Her­ald Tri­bune on May 31, 1940! Her com­ments are repro­duced by Tetens on page 92.

Ger­many Plots with the Krem­lin; T.H. Tetens; Hen­ry Schu­man [HC]; 1953; p. 92.

. . . . The Ger­mans have a clear plan of what they intend to do in case of vic­tory. I believe that I know the essen­tial details of that plan. I have heard it from a suf­fi­cient num­ber of impor­tant Ger­mans to cred­it its authen­tic­ity . . . Germany’s plan is to make a cus­toms union of Europe, with com­plete finan­cial and eco­nomic con­trol cen­tered in Berlin. This will cre­ate at once the largest free trade area and the largest planned econ­omy in the world. In West­ern Europe alone . . . there will be an eco­nomic uni­ty of 400 mil­lion per­sons . . . To these will be added the resources of the British, French, Dutch and Bel­gian empires. These will be pooled in the name of Europa Ger­man­i­ca . . .

“The Ger­mans count upon polit­i­cal pow­er fol­low­ing eco­nomic pow­er, and not vice ver­sa. Ter­ri­to­r­ial changes do not con­cern them, because there will be no ‘France’ or ‘Eng­land,’ except as lan­guage groups. Lit­tle imme­di­ate con­cern is felt regard­ing polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tions . . . . No nation will have the con­trol of its own finan­cial or eco­nomic sys­tem or of its cus­toms. [Ital­ics are mine–D.E.] The Naz­i­fi­ca­tion of all coun­tries will be accom­plished by eco­nomic pres­sure. In all coun­tries, con­tacts have been estab­lished long ago with sym­pa­thetic busi­ness­men and indus­tri­al­ists . . . . As far as the Unit­ed States is con­cerned, the plan­ners of the World Ger­man­ica laugh off the idea of any armed inva­sion. They say that it will be com­pletely unnec­es­sary to take mil­i­tary action against the Unit­ed States to force it to play ball with this sys­tem. . . . Here, as in every oth­er coun­try, they have estab­lished rela­tions with numer­ous indus­tries and com­mer­cial orga­ni­za­tions, to whom they will offer advan­tages in co-oper­a­tion with Ger­many. . . .

13. We have dis­cussed the Nazi tract Ser­pen­t’s Walk in many pro­grams and posts. Ber­tels­mann appears to be cement­ing Under­ground Reich con­trol of Eng­lish lan­guage pub­lish­ing.

“Deal Turns Book Giant Into a Titan” by Alexan­dra Alter and Edmund Lee; The New York Times; 11/25/2020.

The biggest book pub­lish­er in the Unit­ed States is about to get big­ger. Via­com­CBS has agreed to sell Simon & Schus­ter to Pen­guin Ran­dom House for more than $2 bil­lion in a deal that will cre­ate the first mega­pub­lish­er.

Pen­guin Ran­dom House, the largest book pub­lish­er in the Unit­ed States, is owned by the Ger­man media con­glom­er­ate Ber­tels­mann. Adding Simon & Schus­ter, the third largest pub­lish­er, would cre­ate a book behe­moth, a com­bi­na­tion that could trig­ger antitrust con­cerns.

The deal announced on Wednes­day includes pro­vi­sions that would pro­tect Via­com­CBS in the event that a sale is squashed by author­i­ties. Ber­tels­mann would pay what is known as a ter­mi­na­tion fee if the deal does not go through.

The sale of the com­pa­ny will pro­found­ly reshape the pub­lish­ing indus­try, increas­ing­ly a win­ner-take-all busi­ness in which the largest com­pa­nies com­pete for brand-name authors and guar­an­teed best-sell­ers. . . .

Discussion

4 comments for “FTR#1168 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 24: A Pound of Cure, Part 3”

  1. The fol­low­ing 64 page book was pub­lished by British Intel­li­gence in 1942 and reveals IG Far­ben’s long term plans for world dom­i­na­tion. It is rel­a­tive­ly easy read­ing:
    https://www.merriam-press.com/sequeltotheapocalypsehowyouhelpedpayforhitlerswar.aspx

    Posted by Socrates | January 14, 2021, 7:44 pm
  2. Here’s a quick update on the rel­a­tive sta­tus of Mod­er­na’s and BioN­Tech in the eyes of the invest­ment com­mu­ni­ty:
    BioN­Tech also report­ed stronger-than-expect­ed quar­ter­ly results, post­ing $6.24 bil­lion in sec­ond quar­ter sales com­pared to ana­lysts expec­ta­tions of $3.83 bil­lion. The com­pa­ny alone is now pro­ject­ed to add 0.5% to Ger­many’s GDP this year. That is a HUGE con­tri­bu­tion to the Ger­many econ­o­my from a sin­gle com­pa­ny. It’s an exam­ple of the kind of news com­ing out of these com­pa­nies that’s trig­gered the 422 per­cent ris­ing BioN­Tech’s stock since the begin­ning of 2021, while Mod­er­na stock is up 333 per­cent. Again, that’s just since the begin­ning of 2021, which does­n’t fac­tor in their enor­mous 2020 growth:

    The New York Post

    Mod­er­na and BioN­Tech shares sky­rock­et amid talk of mRNA treat­ments for can­cer, malar­ia

    By Theo Wayt

    August 9, 2021 | 4:18pm | Updat­ed

    Shares of Mod­er­na and BioN­Tech both sky­rock­et­ed on Mon­day amid grow­ing enthu­si­asm over tech­nol­o­gy used in their coro­n­avirus vac­cines and its poten­tial to help fight oth­er ail­ments like can­cer and malar­ia.

    Monday’s ral­ly came after BioN­Tech told investors on an earn­ings call that it’s push­ing for­ward with plans for human tri­als for flu and malar­ia vac­cines — as well as for can­cer treat­ments.

    The tri­als will rely on mes­sen­ger RNA tech­nol­o­gy, or mRNA — a new type of vac­cine used to pro­tect against the coro­n­avirus that may also have the poten­tial to solve chal­lenges in vac­cine devel­op­ment for oth­er infec­tious dis­eases and can­cer.

    Both BioN­Tech and Mod­er­na cur­rent­ly use mRNA tech­nol­o­gy in their coro­n­avirus vac­cines.

    Shares of Mass­a­chus­setts-based Mod­er­na soared 17 per­cent to end the day at $484.47, while Germany’s BioN­Tech closed 14.9 per­cent high­er at $447.23.

    BioN­Tech also report­ed stronger-than-expect­ed quar­ter­ly results, post­ing $6.24 bil­lion in sec­ond quar­ter sales com­pared to ana­lysts expec­ta­tions of $3.83, accord­ing to Investors Busi­ness Dai­ly. The com­pa­ny expects to deliv­er a whop­ping 2.2 bil­lion dos­es of its COVID-19 vac­cine this year.

    The poten­tial to cure ail­ments that kill mil­lions of humans each year has left investors sali­vat­ing. BioN­Tech stock has risen an eye-water­ing 422 per­cent since the begin­ning of 2021, while Mod­er­na stock is up 333 per­cent, accord­ing to Mar­ket­Watch data.

    The COVID-19 vac­cines are the only mar­ket­ed prod­ucts com­mer­cial­ly avail­able from either com­pa­ny — but Mod­er­na and BioN­Tech have said that mRNA tech­nol­o­gy has the poten­tial to treat can­cer, malar­ia and oth­er dis­eases.

    Pfiz­er, which devel­oped a coro­n­avirus vac­cine along­side BioN­Tech, saw its shares climb a far more mod­est 1.5 per­cent on Mon­day and 24 per­cent since the begin­ning of the year. Pfiz­er is also far more diver­si­fied than its peers with a wide slate of com­mer­cial­ly avail­able drugs.

    In a note shared with The Post, Jef­feries man­ag­ing direc­tor Michael Yee said Mod­er­na “con­tin­ues to trade like the ‘Tes­la of Biotech’” — mean­ing the stock has a mas­sive val­u­a­tion based on high investor expec­ta­tions about its future.

    Mod­er­na is “an inno­va­tion and dis­rup­tion tech­nol­o­gy play,” Yee added, due to the company’s mRNA tech­nol­o­gy hav­ing the poten­tial to sup­plant tra­di­tion­al med­ical treat­ments and cre­ate new vac­cines.

    ...

    ————–

    “Mod­er­na and BioN­Tech shares sky­rock­et amid talk of mRNA treat­ments for can­cer, malar­ia” by Theo Wayt; The New York Post; 08/09/2021

    “In a note shared with The Post, Jef­feries man­ag­ing direc­tor Michael Yee said Mod­er­na “con­tin­ues to trade like the ‘Tes­la of Biotech’” — mean­ing the stock has a mas­sive val­u­a­tion based on high investor expec­ta­tions about its future.

    Mod­er­na is trad­ing like the ‘Tes­la of Biotech’. In oth­er words, investors are bet­ting Mod­er­na owns the keys to the future of med­i­cine.

    At the same BioN­Tech is already exceed­ing those lofty expec­ta­tions, report­ing sec­ond quar­ter sales at $6.24billion com­pared to ana­lyst expec­ta­tions of $3.82. These are the kinds of num­bers that trig­gered 3 and 4‑fold increas­es in these stocks since the start of 2021 alone (so not even count­ing 2020’s mas­sive gains):

    ...
    BioN­Tech also report­ed stronger-than-expect­ed quar­ter­ly results, post­ing $6.24 bil­lion in sec­ond quar­ter sales com­pared to ana­lysts expec­ta­tions of $3.83, accord­ing to Investors Busi­ness Dai­ly. The com­pa­ny expects to deliv­er a whop­ping 2.2 bil­lion dos­es of its COVID-19 vac­cine this year.

    The poten­tial to cure ail­ments that kill mil­lions of humans each year has left investors sali­vat­ing. BioN­Tech stock has risen an eye-water­ing 422 per­cent since the begin­ning of 2021, while Mod­er­na stock is up 333 per­cent, accord­ing to Mar­ket­Watch data.
    ...

    To put BioN­Tech’s wild over-per­for­mance in per­spec­tive, it’s now pro­ject­ed that the com­pa­ny’s alone could lift the Ger­many econ­o­my by 0.5% this year. That is a HUGE impact for a sin­gle com­pa­ny to have on an econ­o­my as large as Ger­many’s, made even more remark­able by the fact that BioN­Tech is basi­cal­ly a start­up. And this is just the start of this lit­tle start­up. So while BioN­Tech has clear­ly made a big impact in the glob­al biotech sec­tor, that impact could end up being dwarfed by the impact BioN­Tech has on the Ger­man econ­o­my in the long-run

    Reuters

    BioN­Tech alone could lift Ger­man econ­o­my by 0.5% this year

    By Reuters Staff
    August 10, 2021 7:34 AM Updat­ed

    BERLIN (Reuters) ‑The devel­op­ment and domes­tic pro­duc­tion of a ground­break­ing COVID-19 vac­cine by Ger­man start-up BioN­Tech could boost eco­nom­ic growth in Europe’s largest econ­o­my by up to 0.5 per­cent­age points this year, an econ­o­mist said on Tues­day.

    The Ger­man econ­o­my is seen grow­ing by rough­ly 4% this year fol­low­ing a pan­dem­ic-relat­ed plunge by 4.6% last year. This means that Bion­Tech and its break­through devel­op­ment of a coro­n­avirus vac­cine based on mRNA tech­nol­o­gy could account for rough­ly an eighth of over­all GDP growth in 2021, based on esti­mates by Sebas­t­ian Dul­lien, head of think tank the Macro­eco­nom­ic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (IMK).

    “I can’t think of anoth­er exam­ple in which a sin­gle com­pa­ny had such an impact on Ger­man GDP,” Dul­lien told Reuters.

    A gov­ern­ment offi­cial said it was absolute­ly plau­si­ble to assume that the BioN­Tech effect on over­all eco­nom­ic growth would eas­i­ly reach up to 0.5 per­cent­age points this year.

    Dul­lien said that as a macro econ­o­mist, he nor­mal­ly does not look at indi­vid­ual com­pa­nies. “Some­times, how­ev­er, there are rare cas­es in which indi­vid­ual com­pa­nies have macro­eco­nom­ic rel­e­vance. BioN­Tech is such a rare exam­ple,” Dul­lien said.

    His cal­cu­la­tions are based on BioNTech’s lat­est earn­ings released on Mon­day which showed the start-up now expects to accrue 15.9 bil­lion euros ($18.63 bil­lion) in rev­enue from the vac­cine this year, up from an ear­li­er esti­mate of 12.4 bil­lion euros.

    That is rough­ly 0.5% of Ger­man GDP, Dul­lien said. In 2020, Germany’s gross domes­tic prod­uct stood at about 3.3 tril­lion euros.

    “Since BioN­Tech pro­cures rel­a­tive­ly few pre­lim­i­nary prod­ucts from abroad, this is almost entire­ly domes­tic added val­ue,” Dul­lien said. “So this has a direct impact on eco­nom­ic growth.”

    In con­trast to Germany’s big car com­pa­nies that pro­duce many vehi­cles out­side the coun­try, BioN­Tech is pro­duc­ing its vac­cine in a fac­to­ry in Mar­burg, in west­ern Ger­many. In addi­tion, it receives licens­ing fees from its U.S. part­ner Pfiz­er.

    BioN­Tech and Pfiz­er got the world’s first approval for a COVID-19 vac­cine at the end of 2020. “The suc­cess of BioN­Tech is impres­sive,” Dul­lien said. “There is an excel­lent research land­scape in Ger­many that has poten­tial for the future.”

    ...

    ————

    “BioN­Tech alone could lift Ger­man econ­o­my by 0.5% this year” by Reuters Staff; Reuters; 08/10/2021

    “His cal­cu­la­tions are based on BioNTech’s lat­est earn­ings released on Mon­day which showed the start-up now expects to accrue 15.9 bil­lion euros ($18.63 bil­lion) in rev­enue from the vac­cine this year, up from an ear­li­er esti­mate of 12.4 bil­lion euros.”

    BioN­Tech’s rev­enue esti­mates just keep ris­ing and that’s just for this year alone. Future rev­enue growth is almost impos­si­ble to mean­ing­ful­ly project giv­en that we’re poten­tial­ly look­ing at decades of bio­med­ical rev­o­lu­tions emerg­ing from this tech­nol­o­gy. It’s the kind of sit­u­a­tion that’s per­fect for gen­er­at­ing stratos­pher­ic stock val­u­a­tions.

    So that’s the update on BioN­Tech and Mod­er­na: they’re now val­ued by investors like com­pa­nies with the poten­tial to rede­fine the biotech sec­tor in the future. And in the case of BioN­Tech, even­tu­al­ly rede­fine Ger­many’s econ­o­my.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 11, 2021, 2:52 pm
  3. Here’s one of those arti­cles that serves as a reminder of the incred­i­ble scope of what’s the­o­ret­i­cal­ly pos­si­ble using the mRNA lipid nanopar­ti­cle deliv­ery sys­tem the Mod­er­na and Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vac­cines are based on:

    New­ly pub­lished work in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine demon­strat­ed the effec­tive­ness of a CRISPR-based mRNA drug ther­a­py. And that means this was mRNA that per­ma­nent­ly mod­i­fied the patients DNA. At least the DNA of the liv­er cells that had the spe­cial CRISPR mRNA deliv­ered via the drug. Specif­i­cal­ly, a team at the U.K.’s Roy­al Free Hos­pi­tal, used CRISPR mRNA to deliv­er shut down the gene respon­si­ble for pro­duc­ing a tox­ic pro­tein in patients with transthyretin amy­loi­do­sis. Three of the six peo­ple in the tri­al saw an almost com­plete drop-off in pro­tein pro­duc­tion. That’s a remark­able proof-of-con­cept result for a tri­al like this.

    So while the mRNA vac­cines may not be mod­i­fy­ing peo­ple’s DNA as many fear, that does­n’t mean the same under­ly­ing mRNA tech­nol­o­gy could­n’t be retooled for exact­ly those pur­pos­es in the future. Recall ear­li­er work inves­ti­gat­ing the use of genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fy­ing skele­tal mus­cles to pro­duce desired anti­bod­ies as an alter­na­tive to tra­di­tion­al vac­cines. Because skele­tal mus­cle cells can live for decades, by strate­gi­cal­ly inject­ing the DNA for these anti­bod­ies into just those cells the body could pro­duc­ing the anti­body for decades to come, mak­ing it effec­tive­ly a one-time life-long treat­ment. It sounds like this approach of using CRISPR mRNA with the mRNA lipid nanopar­ti­cle deliv­ery mech­a­nism could achieve a sim­i­lar result. Tar­get­ed tis­sues could have their DNA per­ma­nent­ly altered.

    One tech­ni­cal obsta­cle that still remains is deliv­er­ing the mRNA to the desired tis­sues. Thus far, research­es have fig­ured out how to do it with liv­er cells. But the researchers believe it could be applied near-term for bone-mar­row, ner­vous-sys­tem, and mus­cle dis­eases. So we might end up see­ing long-term tar­get DNA mod­i­fi­ca­tion med­ical ther­a­pies much soon­er than many expect:

    Time

    MRNA’s Next Chap­ter Has Noth­ing to Do With COVID-19 Vac­cines

    By Jamie Ducharme
    August 2, 2021 7:00 AM EDT

    It’s safe to say that before the devel­op­ment of the Pfiz­er-BioN­Tech and Mod­er­na COVID-19 vac­cines, most peo­ple hadn’t thought about mes­sen­ger RNA, or mRNA, since high school sci­ence class—if ever. The mol­e­cule plays a piv­otal role in the body, car­ry­ing the recipes for mak­ing var­i­ous pro­teins to the parts of cells that pro­duce them. But “mRNA” wasn’t exact­ly a com­mon phrase until Pfiz­er-BioN­Tech and Mod­er­na har­nessed the genet­ic material’s pow­er to teach the body to make a piece of a pro­tein found on the COVID-19 virus’ sur­face, thus train­ing it to fight the real thing, were it to attack.

    The tremen­dous effi­ca­cy of mRNA-based COVID-19 vac­cines has gen­er­at­ed plen­ty of excite­ment about its poten­tial use in vac­cines for oth­er dis­eases. And vac­cines may be just the begin­ning. Last month, researchers used mRNA to deliv­er CRISPR gene-edit­ing tech­nol­o­gy that could per­ma­nent­ly treat a rare genet­ic dis­ease in humans—an advance that experts say has impli­ca­tions far beyond the treat­ment of a sin­gle con­di­tion.

    Med­ical sci­ence research uti­liz­ing CRISPR—a sys­tem that allows sci­en­tists to add, remove or change spe­cif­ic genet­ic infor­ma­tion with­in the body—had already been advanc­ing rapid­ly in recent years. Researchers have shown its poten­tial for revers­ing blind­ness and sick­le cell ane­mia, and to treat genet­ic dis­eases in ani­mals. But new work described in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine in June marks what researchers are call­ing the first time CRISPR has been shown to treat a genet­ic dis­or­der when direct­ly admin­is­tered to human patients.

    In this case, the tech­nol­o­gy was applied towards a ther­a­py for transthyretin amy­loi­do­sis, a genet­ic dis­ease that caus­es suf­fer­ers’ liv­ers to pro­duce a pro­tein that even­tu­al­ly builds up to tox­ic lev­els. The disease’s preva­lence varies depend­ing on patient demographics—it affects about one in 100,000 Amer­i­cans of Euro­pean descent, but as many as one in every 538 peo­ple in north­ern Por­tu­gal, for example—and can be passed down to future gen­er­a­tions. While there are drugs that can help patients man­age the dis­ease, the goal of the new research was to stop the prob­lem at its source.

    To imag­ine using [CRISPR] as a ther­a­py for peo­ple, you need to fig­ure out how to get these edit­ing tools into the cells you’re try­ing to fix. That’s where mes­sen­ger RNA comes in,” explains Daniel Ander­son, a pro­fes­sor of chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing at the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy and a co-founder of CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics, which uses CRISPR tech­nol­o­gy to devel­op med­ica­tions. Ander­son was not involved in the research.

    The research team, led by Dr. Julian Gill­more, an amy­loi­do­sis expert at the U.K.’s Roy­al Free Hos­pi­tal, pro­grammed mRNA to deliv­er gene-edit­ing instruc­tions to the liv­er, shut­ting down the part respon­si­ble for pro­duc­ing the tox­ic pro­tein. After a one-time injec­tion of the drug, three of the six peo­ple in the tri­al saw an almost com­plete drop-off in pro­tein pro­duc­tion; the remain­ing three, who received a small­er dose, saw less dra­mat­ic results. It will take a few months to see if that accom­plish­ment trans­lates to symp­tom relief, but the ear­ly find­ings are promis­ing. (The work was fund­ed by phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies Intel­lia Ther­a­peu­tics and Regen­eron, which pro­duce the injectable CRISPR drug.)

    As Dr. John Leonard, Intellia’s pres­i­dent and CEO, puts it: “mRNA is a way to make CRISPR gene edit­ing come alive. CRISPR is the work­horse; mRNA encodes it.”

    In the­o­ry, the same gen­er­al tech­nol­o­gy could be used to treat con­di­tions beyond transthyretin amy­loi­do­sis. “There are a host of dis­eases in the liv­er where this might work in an anal­o­gous man­ner,” says Dr. Ken­neth Chien, a senior pro­fes­sor of car­di­ol­o­gy research at Sweden’s Karolin­s­ka Insti­tutet and a co-founder of Mod­er­na Ther­a­peu­tics, who was not involved in the research. “The most impor­tant aspect of this is the impli­ca­tions that the tech­nol­o­gy can be repur­posed.”

    Chien has believed in mRNA’s drug-devel­op­ment poten­tial for more than a decade. When Mod­er­na was found­ed in 2010, in fact, its chief goal was to devel­op mRNA-based drugs, not vac­cines. (Chien no longer works at Mod­er­na and is now an advi­sor to the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal giant AstraZeneca.) He con­tin­ues to work on an mRNA-based drug he hopes could even­tu­al­ly treat heart con­di­tions.

    The tricky part, Leonard says, is fig­ur­ing out how to get a drug into dif­fer­ent tis­sues, since the strat­e­gy for deliv­er­ing CRISPR-based ther­a­peu­tics varies depend­ing on its tar­get. The new research offers a blue­print for liv­er-based con­di­tions, and Leonard believes sim­i­lar approach­es could be used in the near-term for bone-mar­row, ner­vous-sys­tem and mus­cle dis­eases. The list the­o­ret­i­cal­ly grows from there, so long as researchers can fine-tune deliv­ery.

    ...

    ————

    “MRNA’s Next Chap­ter Has Noth­ing to Do With COVID-19 Vac­cines” by Jamie Ducharme; Time; 08/02/2021

    “In the­o­ry, the same gen­er­al tech­nol­o­gy could be used to treat con­di­tions beyond transthyretin amy­loi­do­sis. “There are a host of dis­eases in the liv­er where this might work in an anal­o­gous man­ner,” says Dr. Ken­neth Chien, a senior pro­fes­sor of car­di­ol­o­gy research at Sweden’s Karolin­s­ka Insti­tutet and a co-founder of Mod­er­na Ther­a­peu­tics, who was not involved in the research. “The most impor­tant aspect of this is the impli­ca­tions that the tech­nol­o­gy can be repur­posed.”

    Yes, while the trea­ment for transthyretin amy­loi­do­sis is indeed excit­ing, by far the most impor­tant aspect of this research are the impli­ca­tions for what’s pos­si­ble. Comb­ing CRISPR mRNA with the lipid nanopar­ti­cle deliv­ery sys­tem used in the Mod­er­na and Pfiz­er vac­cines, an entire new modal­i­ty of med­ical appli­ca­tions are pos­si­ble. The tran­sient nature of deliv­ered mRNA can be made per­ma­nent. It’s huge. Half the sub­jects in the tri­al saw an almost com­plete drop off in the gene tar­get­ed for silenc­ing after a singe injec­tion. That’s the kind of study result that will rever­ber­ate through the next few decades of med­ical research:

    ...
    To imag­ine using [CRISPR] as a ther­a­py for peo­ple, you need to fig­ure out how to get theYse edit­ing tools into the cells you’re try­ing to fix. That’s where mes­sen­ger RNA comes in,” explains Daniel Ander­son, a pro­fes­sor of chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing at the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy and a co-founder of CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics, which uses CRISPR tech­nol­o­gy to devel­op med­ica­tions. Ander­son was not involved in the research.

    The research team, led by Dr. Julian Gill­more, an amy­loi­do­sis expert at the U.K.’s Roy­al Free Hos­pi­tal, pro­grammed mRNA to deliv­er gene-edit­ing instruc­tions to the liv­er, shut­ting down the part respon­si­ble for pro­duc­ing the tox­ic pro­tein. After a one-time injec­tion of the drug, three of the six peo­ple in the tri­al saw an almost com­plete drop-off in pro­tein pro­duc­tion; the remain­ing three, who received a small­er dose, saw less dra­mat­ic results. It will take a few months to see if that accom­plish­ment trans­lates to symp­tom relief, but the ear­ly find­ings are promis­ing. (The work was fund­ed by phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies Intel­lia Ther­a­peu­tics and Regen­eron, which pro­duce the injectable CRISPR drug.)

    ...

    The tricky part, Leonard says, is fig­ur­ing out how to get a drug into dif­fer­ent tis­sues, since the strat­e­gy for deliv­er­ing CRISPR-based ther­a­peu­tics varies depend­ing on its tar­get. The new research offers a blue­print for liv­er-based con­di­tions, and Leonard believes sim­i­lar approach­es could be used in the near-term for bone-mar­row, ner­vous-sys­tem and mus­cle dis­eases. The list the­o­ret­i­cal­ly grows from there, so long as researchers can fine-tune deliv­ery.
    ...

    Final­ly, note the rather curi­ous twist this promis­ing research cre­ates for Mod­er­na’s and Pfiz­er’s mRNA busi­ness mod­el. As we’ve seen, the cre­ation of mRNA vac­cines was nev­er the orig­i­nal plan. That was a back­up plan Mod­er­na fell back on after it became clear that repeat­ed dos­es of the mRNA ther­a­pies was cre­at­ing too many side-effects. Vac­cines were seen as a way around this because they only require one or two dos­es. The orig­i­nal plan was to cre­ate ther­a­pies that involved reg­u­lar repeat­ed dos­es. A busi­ness mod­el based on sell­ing the treat­ment, not the cure. So as we’ve watched the world embrace mRNA vac­cines and cel­e­brate the promise this tech­nol­o­gy holds, it’s been look­ing like we’re head­ing towards a sce­nario where Mod­er­na and Pfiz­er would final­ly have the momen­tum to over­come saftey con­cerns and start deliv­er­ing mRNA therepeu­tics that involve reg­u­lar dos­ing. But with the CRISPR option now demon­stra­bly avail­able, that busi­ness mod­el faces some inter­est­ing com­pe­ti­tion. Sell­ing the cure is now an option. In oth­er words, while this study is great news for patients, it might not actu­al­ly be the best news for Mod­er­na’s and Pfiz­er’s bot­tom lines:

    ...
    Chien has believed in mRNA’s drug-devel­op­ment poten­tial for more than a decade. When Mod­er­na was found­ed in 2010, in fact, its chief goal was to devel­op mRNA-based drugs, not vac­cines. (Chien no longer works at Mod­er­na and is now an advi­sor to the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal giant AstraZeneca.) He con­tin­ues to work on an mRNA-based drug he hopes could even­tu­al­ly treat heart con­di­tions.
    ...

    Imag­ine if drug mak­ers had the option of cre­at­ing one-shot drugs. You take one pill and that’s it. You’re cured. Excit­ing, right? But how about the exec­u­tives mak­ing the deci­sions of which drugs to invest in next. How excit­ed would they be about these new won­der drugs? It’s a ques­tion the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­try is prob­a­bly ask­ing itself these days. In par­tic­u­lar Mod­er­na and Pfiz­er.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 14, 2021, 3:32 pm
  4. Here’s a series of arti­cles relat­ed to the ques­tions that have remained unan­swered so far about whether or not the legal immu­ni­ty grant­ed by the US to vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ers dur­ing an emer­gency will extend to oth­er coun­tries. First, recall how the US Con­gress passed the Pub­lic Readi­ness and Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness Act in 2005 dur­ing a bird flu out­break that con­ferred legal immu­ni­ty, and just such a emer­gency was declared by then-HHS Sec­re­tary Alex Azar in March of 2020, last­ing until 2024. As a result, the vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ers have a four year lia­bil­i­ty-free win­dow to devel­op and assess new COVID vac­cine tech­nolo­gies. And while some COVID vac­cines rely on tra­di­tion­al vac­cine tech­nol­o­gy, like the John­son & John­son vac­cine, there’s no deny­ing that the lia­bil­i­ty waiv­er was par­tic­u­lar­ly con­ve­nient for the lia­bil­i­ty-free devel­op­ment of new mRNA tech­nol­o­gy from Mod­er­na and Pfiz­er. It’s like a four-year lia­bil­i­ty-free mass safe­ty tri­al of the mRNA ther­a­peu­tic plat­form.

    A plat­form that goes far beyond vac­cines. Recall the 2016 STAT News arti­cle describ­ing how Mod­er­na start­ed off try­ing to design ther­a­peu­tic mRNA appli­ca­tions involv­ing the reg­u­lar intro­duc­tion of mRNA to cre­ate the prop­er ver­sions of pro­teins but the repeat­ed admin­is­tra­tion of the mRNA nano­lipid par­ti­cles caused too many side-effects for the com­pa­ny to con­tin­ue with that line of research. Mod­er­na instead jumped to mRNA vac­cines due to the fact that vac­cines hope­ful­ly don’t require too many shots. More recent­ly, we’ve learned about lans to use mRNA nano­lipid tech­nol­o­gy to deliv­er CRISPR mRNA that can per­ma­nent­ly alter the DNA of an indi­vid­u­al’s cells.

    Which is all, again, why the four year lia­bil­i­ty-free waiv­er for Mod­er­na and Pfiz­er are like com­mer­cial man­na from heav­en. Because it’s not like the safe­ty infor­ma­tion devel­oped over the next four years are only going to apply to vac­cines. The whole indus­try is going to be point­ing back to the found safe­ty of mRNA vac­cine to jus­ti­fy the ini­tial use of all sorts of oth­er mRNA appli­ca­tions for years to come. At least assum­ing there any major safe­ty issues dis­cov­ered dur­ing this peri­od which, again, is why we real­ly should­n’t be blind­ly trust­ing these vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ers to con­duct the bulk of the safe­ty assess­ments for the vac­cines. The stakes go far beyond the future of these vac­cines. It’s not an exag­ger­a­tion to say this kind of tech­nol­o­gy rep­re­sents a major new chap­ter in med­i­cine. Pos­si­bly a new chap­ter in the human species if we go bonkers with the DNA mod­i­fi­ca­tion. New pub­lic and pri­vate com­mer­cial bio­med­ical empires are going to be built in the com­ing decades by those who most effec­tive­ly exploit this new tech­nol­o­gy and the stakes almost could­n’t be high­er.

    But, again, it was nev­er real­ly clear the lia­bil­i­ty waiv­er passed by the US con­gress was going to apply to the rest of the world. So here’s an update on that front out ot India last week:

    So far, India has been reliant on the AstraZeneca vac­cine, which is being pro­duced with­out a lia­bil­i­ty waiv­er. After months of ques­tions over whether or not the Indi­an gov­ern­ment would grant US vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ers lia­bil­i­ty waivers, we appear to have an answer. It’s an answer deliv­ered by anony­mous gov­ern­ment sources talk­ing to reporters, so it’s not a defin­i­tive answer. But accord­ing to these anony­mous sources, there will be NO lia­bil­i­ty waivers, although Pfiz­er’s spokesper­son assures us nego­ti­a­tions are ongo­ing. And part of what made this report notable is that it came one day after we got reports that the Indi­an gov­ern­ment expects to receive mil­lions of dos­es of the John­son & John­son vac­cine some time in Novem­ber. So it appears that J&J, with its tra­di­tion­al vac­cine tech­nol­o­gy, has ten­ta­tive­ly arrived at an agree­ment to pro­ceed with­out a lia­bil­i­ty shield, while Mod­er­na and Pfiz­er are con­tin­u­ing to hold out and wait for the sit­u­a­tion to get worse so they can extract a bet­ter deal:

    Reuters

    India govt won’t buy Pfiz­er, Mod­er­na vac­cines amid local out­put ‑sources

    By Neha Aro­ra and Krish­na N. Das, Aftab Ahmed
    Sep­tem­ber 21, 2021 1:12 PM UTC Updat­ed

    NEW DELHI, Sept 21 (Reuters) — Indi­a’s gov­ern­ment will not buy COVID-19 shots from Pfiz­er (PFE.N)/BioNTech (22UAy.DE) and Mod­er­na (MRNA.O), three gov­ern­ment sources told Reuters, main­ly because domes­tic out­put of more afford­able and eas­i­er-to-store vac­cines has jumped.

    That essen­tial­ly means the glob­al­ly pop­u­lar vac­cines, which their mak­ers have pledged not to sell to pri­vate par­ties dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, will not be avail­able for now in the world’s two most pop­u­lous coun­tries — Chi­na and India.

    The Indi­an gov­ern­ment has also declined to meet the U.S. com­pa­nies’ requests for legal pro­tec­tion over any side-effects from the use of their shots, which are cur­rent­ly made only in the Unit­ed States or Europe, two of the sources said.

    No com­pa­ny has received such pro­tec­tion in India.

    “Ear­li­er, there was a short­age, there was a need,” said one of the sources, refer­ring to Indi­a’s appeal to the com­pa­nies in April for vac­cines when infec­tions explod­ed and shots were in short sup­ply.

    “Their price will be high. Why should we take on their con­di­tions?”

    A sec­ond source said: “The gov­ern­ment will not buy Pfiz­er and Mod­er­na vac­cines. They are free to have pri­vate tie-ups after nec­es­sary reg­u­la­to­ry clear­ances. But sov­er­eign indem­ni­ty is clear­ly some­thing we can’t give”.

    A Pfiz­er spokesper­son in India said dis­cus­sions were ongo­ing and it remained com­mit­ted to bring the vac­cine to the coun­try.

    The com­pa­ny reit­er­at­ed that “dur­ing the pan­dem­ic phase, it would sup­ply the COVID-19 vac­cine only to cen­tral gov­ern­ments and supra-nation­al organ­i­sa­tions”.

    ...

    Mod­er­na, through its Indi­an part­ner Cipla (CIPL.NS), already has emer­gency-use autho­ri­sa­tion in India for its vac­cine, which, like the Pfiz­er one, needs ultra-cold stor­age — facil­i­ties that much of India lacks.

    Both vac­cines cost sev­er­al times more than Indi­a’s main shot, Cov­ishield, a licensed ver­sion of the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) drug.

    Indi­a’s month­ly domes­tic out­put has tre­bled since April and will reach 300 mil­lion dos­es in Octo­ber, accord­ing to Health Min­is­ter Man­sukh Man­daviya, who on Mon­day announced a restart of Indi­a’s vac­cine exports from the Octo­ber quar­ter. read more

    ...

    ————

    “India govt won’t buy Pfiz­er, Mod­er­na vac­cines amid local out­put ‑sources” by Neha Aro­ra and Krish­na N. Das, Aftab Ahmed; Reuters; 09/21/2021

    The Indi­an gov­ern­ment has also declined to meet the U.S. com­pa­nies’ requests for legal pro­tec­tion over any side-effects from the use of their shots, which are cur­rent­ly made only in the Unit­ed States or Europe, two of the sources said.”
    .
    Sor­ry, there will be no lia­bil­i­ty shields for side-effects. Not for Mod­er­na, Pfiz­er, or any com­pa­ny in India. Accord­ing to one anony­mous gov­ern­ment source, “sov­er­eign indem­ni­ty is clear­ly some­thing we can’t give.” At the same time, Pfiz­er is telling sources the dis­cus­sion were ongo­ing. At a min­i­mum, there’s an impasse for now:

    ...
    No com­pa­ny has received such pro­tec­tion in India.

    “Ear­li­er, there was a short­age, there was a need,” said one of the sources, refer­ring to Indi­a’s appeal to the com­pa­nies in April for vac­cines when infec­tions explod­ed and shots were in short sup­ply.

    “Their price will be high. Why should we take on their con­di­tions?”

    A sec­ond source said: “The gov­ern­ment will not buy Pfiz­er and Mod­er­na vac­cines. They are free to have pri­vate tie-ups after nec­es­sary reg­u­la­to­ry clear­ances. But sov­er­eign indem­ni­ty is clear­ly some­thing we can’t give”.

    A Pfiz­er spokesper­son in India said dis­cus­sions were ongo­ing and it remained com­mit­ted to bring the vac­cine to the coun­try.
    ...

    .
    So what about the John­son & John­son shot? Did it get a lia­bil­i­ty shield? It did­n’t sound like it, based on that report. But as we learned the day before, Indi­an gov­ern­ment sources were telling reporters that India could receive as man as 43.5 mil­lion dos­es of the J&J shot in Octo­ber. No deal had been signed, but those were the reports were were get­ting a day before reports from anony­mous Indi­an offi­cials indi­cat­ed no com­pa­ny ever would receive a sov­er­eign immu­ni­ty agree­ment. Tak­en togeth­er, it would seem that J&J is going ahead with a sup­ply agree­ment with­out a lia­bil­i­ty shield:

    Reuters

    India set to get first J&J COVID vac­cine dos­es in Octo­ber, says source

    By Neha Aro­ra
    Sep­tem­ber 20, 2021 4:24 PM UTC Updat­ed

    NEW DELHI, Sept 20 (Reuters) — India expects to get its first John­son & John­son (JNJ.N) COVID-19 vac­cine dos­es from next month, filled and fin­ished in India by a part­ner of the U.S. drug­mak­er, a source with knowl­edge of the mat­ter told Reuters on Mon­day.

    It could receive as many as 43.5 mil­lion dos­es of the sin­gle-shot vac­cine in Octo­ber, said the source — a big step towards help­ing India meet its tar­get of pro­duc­ing more than 300 mil­lion dos­es in the month. read more

    India is the world’s biggest cen­tre of vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ing. Once it has met its own needs, it plans to resume exports, which it stopped in April.

    Indi­a’s drug reg­u­la­tor last month gave emer­gency autho­ri­sa­tion to the J&J vac­cine, whether import­ed or local­ly filled and fin­ished by J&J’s Indi­an part­ner, Bio­log­i­cal E.

    How­ev­er, the Indi­an gov­ern­ment has not yet signed any sup­ply deal with J&J.

    “J&J dos­es are expect­ed from next month,” said the source, who declined to be named as he was not autho­rised to talk to the media. “Bio E will do the for­mu­la­tion and make 5 ml vials.”

    ...

    ————-

    “India set to get first J&J COVID vac­cine dos­es in Octo­ber, says source” by Neha Aro­ra; Reuters; 09/20/2021

    “It could receive as many as 43.5 mil­lion dos­es of the sin­gle-shot vac­cine in Octo­ber, said the source — a big step towards help­ing India meet its tar­get of pro­duc­ing more than 300 mil­lion dos­es in the month. read more”

    It’s not a hard con­fir­ma­tion, but reports like this are typ­i­cal­ly what pre­cedes hard con­fir­ma­tions. On the one hand, con­sid­er­ing that the J&J shot is based on tra­di­tion­al vac­cine tech­nol­o­gy, it would­n’t be a huge sur­prise if the com­pa­ny agreed to sup­ply India with the vac­cine with­out a lia­bil­i­ty shield.

    But Mod­er­na an Pfiz­er, that lia­bil­i­ty shield is look­ing to be an absolute pre­req­ui­site. That’s the sit­u­a­tion described in the fol­low­ing arti­cle from ear­ly August about the Indi­an gov­ern­ment giv­ing its approval for the J&J shot, which points out that the gov­ern­ment approved the Mod­er­na shot back in June but legal wran­gling over the lia­bil­i­ty pro­tec­tion is hold­ing up deliv­er­ies:

    Reuters

    India approves J&J vac­cine; no deliv­ery time­line yet

    August 7, 2021 8:08 AM CDT Updat­ed

    Aug 7 (Reuters) — India has approved John­son & John­son’s (JNJ.N) sin­gle-dose COVID-19 vac­cine for emer­gency use, health min­is­ter Man­sukh Man­daviya said in a tweet on Sat­ur­day, but the com­pa­ny said it was too ear­ly to give a deliv­ery time­line.

    The phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal giant had applied for emer­gency use approval of its vac­cine, the com­pa­ny had said on Fri­day. The shot will be brought to India through a sup­ply agree­ment with home­grown vac­cine mak­er Bio­log­i­cal E Ltd, J&J had said.

    “While we look for­ward to meet­ing our deliv­ery com­mit­ments it is pre­ma­ture for us to spec­u­late on the tim­ing of our vac­cine deliv­er­ies,” the com­pa­ny said in an emailed reply to Reuters.

    Indi­an health author­i­ties have so far approved the use of vac­cines devel­oped by AstraZeneca (AZN.L), Bharat Biotech, Rus­si­a’s Gama­leya Insti­tute and Mod­er­na (MRNA.O).

    Despite the approval of Mod­er­na’s vac­cine in June, not a sin­gle dose has yet arrived due to wran­gling over legal pro­tec­tion sought by the com­pa­ny.

    It is unclear if J&J has reached an agree­ment with the gov­ern­ment over legal con­cerns. Fel­low U.S. com­pa­ny Pfiz­er has yet to seek per­mis­sion for use of its vac­cine in India.

    “This deci­sion was based on topline effi­ca­cy and safe­ty data from the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE clin­i­cal tri­al, which demon­strat­ed our sin­gle-shot vac­cine was 85% effec­tive in pre­vent­ing severe dis­ease across all regions stud­ied, and showed pro­tec­tion against COVID-19 relat­ed hos­pi­tal­iza­tion and death, begin­ning 28 days after vac­ci­na­tion,” J&J said in an emailed state­ment.

    “This is an impor­tant step for­ward in accel­er­at­ing avail­abil­i­ty of our COVID-19 vac­cine to help end the pan­dem­ic.”

    ...

    India has report­ed an aver­age of 30,000 to 40,000 new coro­n­avirus cas­es every day since July. Although dai­ly cas­es have dipped from a high of 400,000 at the peak of the sec­ond wave, the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has warned that the dan­ger has not yet abat­ed.

    India has admin­is­tered 501 mil­lion vac­cine dos­es, the largest of any coun­try after Chi­na, but lit­tle over 10% of its adult pop­u­la­tion has been inoc­u­lat­ed with both dos­es.

    ————

    “India approves J&J vac­cine; no deliv­ery time­line yet”; Reuters; 08/07/2021

    “Indi­an health author­i­ties have so far approved the use of vac­cines devel­oped by AstraZeneca (AZN.L), Bharat Biotech, Rus­si­a’s Gama­leya Insti­tute and Mod­er­na (MRNA.O).”

    Mod­er­na’s shot got approved. It just did­n’t get lia­bil­i­ty-free approval, which Mod­er­na is con­tin­u­ing to demand. And until that waiv­er is pro­vid­ed, no Mod­er­na shots for India. And note how Pfiz­er had­n’t even sought per­mis­sion to get its vac­cine approved in India:

    ...
    Despite the approval of Mod­er­na’s vac­cine in June, not a sin­gle dose has yet arrived due to wran­gling over legal pro­tec­tion sought by the com­pa­ny.

    It is unclear if J&J has reached an agree­ment with the gov­ern­ment over legal con­cerns. Fel­low U.S. com­pa­ny Pfiz­er has yet to seek per­mis­sion for use of its vac­cine in India.
    ...

    Will the Indi­an gov­ern­ment find any sort of agree­ment with the mRNA vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ers giv­en the appar­ent hard oppo­si­tion to lia­bil­i­ty pro­tec­tions? Well, as the fol­low­ing arti­cle from late July described, the Indi­an gov­ern­ment appeared to be open to some sort of cre­ative agree­ment involv­ing hav­ing Mod­er­na’s Indi­an part­ner, Cipla, assume some of the lia­bil­i­ties on Mod­er­na’s behalf. Mod­er­na reject­ed the idea:

    Reuters

    Legal wran­gles hold up U.S. vac­cine dona­tions to India

    By Neha Aro­ra and Krish­na N. Das
    July 28, 2021 10:35 AM UTC Updat­ed

    NEW DELHI, July 28 (Reuters) — Two months after India dropped local-tri­al rules for COVID-19 vac­cines approved by devel­oped coun­tries, not a sin­gle dose has arrived as New Del­hi dithers over legal pro­tec­tion sought by com­pa­nies like Pfiz­er (PFE.N) and Mod­er­na (MRNA.O).

    The Unit­ed States has in recent weeks donat­ed mil­lions of vac­cine dos­es to coun­tries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan and South Korea. Sup­plies to India, how­ev­er, are stuck pend­ing con­clu­sion of some “legal require­ments”, accord­ing to the glob­al COVAX vac­cine plat­form through which such dos­es are rout­ed.

    Indi­a’s drugs reg­u­la­tor gave emer­gency use autho­ri­sa­tion to the Mod­er­na vac­cine in June, as the Unit­ed States read­ied dona­tions for India. Fel­low U.S. com­pa­nies Pfiz­er and John­son & John­son (JNJ.N) have not for­mal­ly sought per­mis­sion for the use of their shots in India.

    But India has not met requests for grant­i­ng the man­u­fac­tur­ers indem­ni­ty from law­suits.

    Indi­a’s junior health min­is­ter told par­lia­ment on Tues­day that a team of offi­cials had been formed to engage with the vac­cine mak­ers.

    “This team is in con­tin­u­ous dia­logue with Pfiz­er, Mod­er­na and John­son & John­son to dis­cuss and address var­i­ous issues includ­ing the issue of indem­ni­ty,” Bharati Pravin Pawar said.

    ...

    Vac­cine alliance Gavi, which co-leads the COVAX facil­i­ty, said legal pro­tec­tions for vac­cine sup­pli­ers were manda­to­ry.

    “All facil­i­ty par­tic­i­pants must have signed indem­ni­ty agree­ments with the man­u­fac­tur­ers in ques­tion in order to receive dos­es through COVAX – which would also be true for dos­es received via bilat­er­al deals,” a Gavi spokesper­son said in an email.

    India is heav­i­ly reliant on the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) vac­cine pro­duced by the Serum Insti­tute of India (SII). Bharat Biotech — mak­er of Indi­a’s only approved home-grown shot — is strug­gling to boost sup­ply. read more

    SII has already told the gov­ern­ment that any indem­ni­ty for for­eign vac­cine com­pa­nies should also apply to Indi­an pro­duc­ers.

    One gov­ern­ment source said Mod­er­na’s Indi­an part­ner Cipla (CIPL.NS) had offered to bear some legal respon­si­bil­i­ties for the vac­cine’s use in the coun­try, but that the pro­pos­al had been reject­ed by the U.S. com­pa­ny.

    “The gov­ern­ment can­not give indem­ni­ty to any­one,” the offi­cial said, declin­ing be named as the dis­cus­sions were pri­vate and no deci­sions had been finalised.

    “The gov­ern­ment is say­ing domes­tic com­pa­nies can give indem­ni­ty on behalf of their for­eign part­ners.”

    ...

    India has admin­is­tered 441 mil­lion total vac­cine dos­es, the largest of any coun­try after Chi­na. But only 10% of its adult pop­u­la­tion of about 944 mil­lion peo­ple has been inoc­u­lat­ed with both dos­es, with 47% receiv­ing at least one shot.

    ————

    “Legal wran­gles hold up U.S. vac­cine dona­tions to India” by Neha Aro­ra and Krish­na N. Das; Reuters; 07/28/2021

    “SII has already told the gov­ern­ment that any indem­ni­ty for for­eign vac­cine com­pa­nies should also apply to Indi­an pro­duc­ers.”

    Calls for fair treat­ment by domes­tic sup­pli­ers is one obvi­ous rea­son grant­i­ng lia­bil­i­ty waivers to for­eign vac­cine pro­duc­ers is a touchy top­ic, but even when unfair treat­ment that sounds like a par­tial lia­bil­i­ty waiv­er was pro­posed, Mod­er­na reject­ed the offer. Full lia­bil­i­ty waivers are an absolute demand from the com­pa­ny:

    ...
    One gov­ern­ment source said Mod­er­na’s Indi­an part­ner Cipla (CIPL.NS) had offered to bear some legal respon­si­bil­i­ties for the vac­cine’s use in the coun­try, but that the pro­pos­al had been reject­ed by the U.S. com­pa­ny.

    “The gov­ern­ment can­not give indem­ni­ty to any­one,” the offi­cial said, declin­ing be named as the dis­cus­sions were pri­vate and no deci­sions had been finalised.

    “The gov­ern­ment is say­ing domes­tic com­pa­nies can give indem­ni­ty on behalf of their for­eign part­ners.”
    ...

    So if the vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ers are demand­ing lia­bil­i­ty pro­tec­tions at the same time the Indi­an gov­ern­ment is repeat­ed­ly insist­ing it’s not going to be grant­i­ng such pro­tec­tions to any­one, what are the real­is­tic paths out of this impasse? Well, as the fol­low­ing arti­cle from back in June describes, there appeared to be a real expec­ta­tion at the time that this impasse could be overcome...with the Indi­an gov­ern­ment capit­u­lat­ing and grant­i­ng the lia­bil­i­ty pro­tec­tions. At least those were the pre­dic­tions we were hear­ing from observers, based in part on the fact that these pro­tec­tions have already been grant­ed by the US, UK, and EU. It was just assumed that India would fol­low suit and sub­mit to those man­u­fac­tur­er demands too. And yet, as the arti­cle also notes, these lia­bil­i­ty waivers that have become pro for­ma dur­ing the pan­dem­ic are his­tor­i­cal­ly unusu­al moves. As Amir Ullah Khan, an econ­o­mist and for­mer pol­i­cy advis­er for the Bill and Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion, put it, it would be fair for India to hag­gle over indem­ni­ty in nor­mal cir­cum­stances, but not now. “Peo­ple are dying right now, and we don’t have space to bury them. In such a sit­u­a­tion, where there is such a sup­ply prob­lem, it makes no sense to insist on nego­ti­at­ing over indem­ni­ty,” Khan said. It was a sen­ti­ment per­haps put more suc­cinct­ly by K. Sri­nath Red­dy, pres­i­dent of the Pub­lic Health Foun­da­tion of India, who pre­dict­ed the gov­ern­ment would even­tu­al­ly grant indem­ni­ty because the risk of miss­ing out on vac­cines is too high. “It is a seller’s mar­ket,” says Red­dy. And that gives us a snap­shot of how this lia­bil­i­ty bat­tle was look­ing back in June: the expec­ta­tion was that India was acqui­esce to the indus­try demands in part because oth­er coun­tries were already lead­ing the way in sub­mit­ting to the demands but, more impor­tant­ly, because of the urgency of the sit­u­a­tion. It real­ly is a sell­er’s mar­ket, and the sell­ers are behav­ing like they know it:

    For­tune

    India needs Pfiz­er vaccines—but com­pa­ny demand for legal pro­tec­tion is hold­ing things up

    By Biman Mukher­ji
    June 10, 2021 3:12 AM CDT

    In late May, the gov­ern­ment of Indi­an Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi made a bold promise: to vac­ci­nate every one of India’s 950 mil­lion adults against COVID-19 by the end of the year. But that ambi­tious plan is being held up, in part, by a crit­i­cal issue: whether the gov­ern­ment will pro­tect for­eign vac­cine sup­pli­ers from legal lia­bil­i­ty over vac­cine com­pli­ca­tions.

    V.K. Paul, mem­ber of gov­ern­ment think tank NITI Aayog, sug­gest­ed to reporters last Fri­day that such requests from for­eign com­pa­nies, specif­i­cal­ly Pfiz­er, are delay­ing pur­chase agree­ments for vac­cines that India des­per­ate­ly needs.

    “We are in nego­ti­a­tions with them. There is no deci­sion at the moment,” Paul said. “In prin­ci­pal, they expect [indem­ni­fi­ca­tion] to be giv­en. This has been the case all over the world.”

    Indem­ni­fy­ing vac­cine mak­ers from lia­bil­i­ty is an unusu­al move that has become pro for­ma dur­ing the pan­dem­ic. Such legal pro­tec­tion incen­tivizes man­u­fac­tur­ers to get vac­cines to mar­ket as fast as pos­si­ble and low­ers the price they charge for dos­es while shield­ing cor­po­ra­tions from hav­ing to pay dam­ages for vac­cine com­pli­ca­tions unless they result from will­ful neg­li­gence. It’s what man­u­fac­tur­ers have asked for, and the U.S., the U.K., and Euro­pean Union—eager to get life­sav­ing jabs into arms—have all grant­ed the demand.

    These gov­ern­ments and oth­ers have deter­mined that the issue is a no-brain­er, giv­en the sever­i­ty of the pan­dem­ic, so pub­lic health experts in India are puz­zled as to why Naren­dra Modi’s admin­is­tra­tion has yet to come to the same con­clu­sion.

    Naushad Forbes, past pres­i­dent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Indi­an Indus­try, is con­fi­dent India will even­tu­al­ly grant man­u­fac­tur­ers indem­ni­ty, “but we will do it at a leisure­ly pace,” he says. “I am unable to under­stand why there are these delays.”

    ...

    An Indi­an Min­istry of Finance report on Wednes­day called for step­ping up the immu­niza­tion dri­ve to cov­er 700 mil­lion peo­ple by Sep­tem­ber to speed up the country’s eco­nom­ic recov­ery.

    India is well suit­ed to car­ry out a mas­sive vac­ci­na­tion cam­paign. It’s the world’s largest sup­pli­er of vac­cines, and two of its biggest man­u­fac­tur­ers, the Serum Insti­tute of India and Bharat Biotech, announced in March that they would ful­fill domes­tic need before pro­duc­ing any jabs for export. Still, sup­ply of the three jabs India has approved—the Serum Insti­tute of India’s Cov­ishield ver­sion of the AstraZeneca vac­cine, Bharat Biotech’s Cov­ax­in, and Russia’s Sput­nik V—have run short as mil­lions of Indi­ans have flocked to vac­ci­na­tion cen­ters.

    To boost sup­ply, the gov­ern­ment said ear­li­er this month it would approve some for­eign vac­cines even if man­u­fac­tur­ers hadn’t con­duct­ed tri­als in India, a stan­dard process that can take months, if not years, to com­plete.

    But so far, India has grant­ed approval to only one for­eign-made vaccine—Sputnik V—despite being in talks with Pfiz­er and John­son & John­son. A spokesman for Dr Reddy’s Lab­o­ra­to­ries, the Indi­an com­pa­ny that import­ed the Russ­ian-made vac­cine, did not com­ment on whether the com­pa­ny had sought indem­ni­ty.

    “Pfizer’s dis­cus­sions with the gov­ern­ment of India are ongo­ing, and we are hope­ful to bring the Pfiz­er-BioN­Tech COVID-19 vac­cine for use in the coun­try,” a com­pa­ny spokesman said in a writ­ten response to For­tune.

    A John­son & John­son spokesper­son said the com­pa­ny is engaged in talks with the Indi­an gov­ern­ment to sup­ply vac­cines.

    “[The man­u­fac­tur­ers] have vac­cine stocks avail­able with them. The price lev­els are also not unrea­son­able. The only thing com­ing in the way is indem­ni­ty,” Forbes said.

    Indus­try exec­u­tives, who asked not to be named, say nego­ti­a­tions between the gov­ern­ment and vac­cine mak­ers are part­ly hung up on whether law­suits that do arise will be tried in Indi­an or inter­na­tion­al courts. Indi­an pol­i­cy­mak­ers are also con­cerned about appear­ing to grant the for­eign com­pa­nies too many con­ces­sions.

    Amir Ullah Khan, an econ­o­mist and for­mer pol­i­cy advis­er for the Bill and Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion, said that it would be fair for India to hag­gle over indem­ni­ty in nor­mal cir­cum­stances, but not now.

    “Peo­ple are dying right now, and we don’t have space to bury them. In such a sit­u­a­tion, where there is such a sup­ply prob­lem, it makes no sense to insist on nego­ti­at­ing over indem­ni­ty,” he said.

    Pay­out pro­gram

    Khan sug­gests that the gov­ern­ment waive the legal lia­bil­i­ty for vac­cine mak­ers for a lim­it­ed peri­od, such as six months to one year. Dur­ing that time, the gov­ern­ment should pro­vide com­pen­sa­tion to any­one who expe­ri­ences unin­ten­tion­al adverse side effects. This, he notes, is the strat­e­gy employed by the U.S., which has some of the world’s tough­est prod­uct lia­bil­i­ty and safe­ty laws.

    The U.S. intro­duced a vac­cine com­pen­sa­tion scheme that pays par­ties who are injured by the vac­cines. Health care experts say the tac­tic sat­is­fies drug­mak­ers’ indem­ni­ty demands and gives the pub­lic recourse if they suf­fer irrepara­ble harm from the jabs, though such pro­grams are noto­ri­ous­ly stingy with pay­outs.

    ...

    K. Sri­nath Red­dy, pres­i­dent of the Pub­lic Health Foun­da­tion of India, expects the gov­ern­ment to grant indem­ni­ty because the risk of miss­ing out on vac­cines is too high.

    “It is a seller’s mar­ket,” he says.

    ————

    “India needs Pfiz­er vaccines—but com­pa­ny demand for legal pro­tec­tion is hold­ing things up” by Biman Mukher­ji; For­tune; 06/10/2021

    Naushad Forbes, past pres­i­dent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Indi­an Indus­try, is con­fi­dent India will even­tu­al­ly grant man­u­fac­tur­ers indem­ni­ty, “but we will do it at a leisure­ly pace,” he says. “I am unable to under­stand why there are these delays.””

    Some­one had to blink, and the vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ers were open­ly express­ing con­fi­dence that it would be the Indi­an gov­ern­ment who did the blink­ing. Peo­ple are dying, after all, who can the gov­ern­ment jus­ti­fy any such delays? That was the nar­ra­tive we got from the indus­try. A nar­ra­tive that con­ve­nient­ly ignores the moral lia­bil­i­ty of the man­u­fac­tur­ers dur­ing an emer­gency. And a nar­ra­tive that con­ve­nient­ly ignores the gen­uine­ly nov­el nature of the vac­cine tech­nol­o­gy in the case of mRNA vac­cines. As we’ve sub­se­quent­ly seen, J&J seems to be mov­ing for­ward with its tra­di­tion­al vac­cine tech­nol­o­gy with­out the lia­bil­i­ty pro­tec­tions. And AstraZeneca must have come to some sort of arrange­ment. It’s Mod­er­na and Pfiz­er where we’re see­ing the intense indus­try resis­tance:

    ...
    V.K. Paul, mem­ber of gov­ern­ment think tank NITI Aayog, sug­gest­ed to reporters last Fri­day that such requests from for­eign com­pa­nies, specif­i­cal­ly Pfiz­er, are delay­ing pur­chase agree­ments for vac­cines that India des­per­ate­ly needs.

    “We are in nego­ti­a­tions with them. There is no deci­sion at the moment,” Paul said. “In prin­ci­pal, they expect [indem­ni­fi­ca­tion] to be giv­en. This has been the case all over the world.”

    Indem­ni­fy­ing vac­cine mak­ers from lia­bil­i­ty is an unusu­al move that has become pro for­ma dur­ing the pan­dem­ic. Such legal pro­tec­tion incen­tivizes man­u­fac­tur­ers to get vac­cines to mar­ket as fast as pos­si­ble and low­ers the price they charge for dos­es while shield­ing cor­po­ra­tions from hav­ing to pay dam­ages for vac­cine com­pli­ca­tions unless they result from will­ful neg­li­gence. It’s what man­u­fac­tur­ers have asked for, and the U.S., the U.K., and Euro­pean Union—eager to get life­sav­ing jabs into arms—have all grant­ed the demand.

    These gov­ern­ments and oth­ers have deter­mined that the issue is a no-brain­er, giv­en the sever­i­ty of the pan­dem­ic, so pub­lic health experts in India are puz­zled as to why Naren­dra Modi’s admin­is­tra­tion has yet to come to the same con­clu­sion.
    ...

    And note the par­tic­u­lar stick­ing point: con­cern over whether or not law­suits could be brought in Indi­an courts vs inter­na­tion­al courts. It’s the kind of stick­ing point that should be rais­ing ques­tions about the close­ness between inter­na­tion­al courts and multi­na­tion­al com­pa­nies:

    ...
    Indus­try exec­u­tives, who asked not to be named, say nego­ti­a­tions between the gov­ern­ment and vac­cine mak­ers are part­ly hung up on whether law­suits that do arise will be tried in Indi­an or inter­na­tion­al courts. Indi­an pol­i­cy­mak­ers are also con­cerned about appear­ing to grant the for­eign com­pa­nies too many con­ces­sions.

    Amir Ullah Khan, an econ­o­mist and for­mer pol­i­cy advis­er for the Bill and Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion, said that it would be fair for India to hag­gle over indem­ni­ty in nor­mal cir­cum­stances, but not now.

    “Peo­ple are dying right now, and we don’t have space to bury them. In such a sit­u­a­tion, where there is such a sup­ply prob­lem, it makes no sense to insist on nego­ti­at­ing over indem­ni­ty,” he said.

    ...

    Khan sug­gests that the gov­ern­ment waive the legal lia­bil­i­ty for vac­cine mak­ers for a lim­it­ed peri­od, such as six months to one year. Dur­ing that time, the gov­ern­ment should pro­vide com­pen­sa­tion to any­one who expe­ri­ences unin­ten­tion­al adverse side effects. This, he notes, is the strat­e­gy employed by the U.S., which has some of the world’s tough­est prod­uct lia­bil­i­ty and safe­ty laws.
    ...

    Will India grant vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ers a more lim­it­ed lia­bil­i­ty? Or per­haps adopt a strat­e­gy sim­i­lar to the US where the gov­ern­ment pro­vides com­pen­sa­tion in the event of an adverse side effect? We’ll see. Those con­fi­dent pre­dic­tions of a lia­bil­i­ty waiv­er still haven’t panned out and it sure sound­ed like the anony­mous Indi­an gov­ern­ment sources were adamant that no com­pa­ny would end up being grant­ed immu­ni­ty. It’s a sell­er’s mar­ket, after all. And a lot can change in a sit­u­a­tion like this. Espe­cial­ly the virus.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 28, 2021, 2:05 pm

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