Medic went to school in Pegnitz
4 hours ago
Winfried Stöcker is now more of an investor than a doctor. He has owned Lübeck Airport since 2016. The first machines should start there this summer.
Photo: Carsten Rehder, picture alliance / dpa
More than 100 research groups around the world are currently developing a vaccine against the Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus. A few first clinical studies in humans have already started. Experts say that it will still take a year or even a few years before an active ingredient can be approved.
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It seems that Winfried Stöcker takes too long. The entrepreneur started giving himself a self-developed remedy two months ago. According to their own statements, these are Sars-Cov-2 antigens. The inactive virus components cause the body to fight the pathogen and produce antibodies. The immune system is then prepared for an actual infection. Vaccines are based on this basic principle.
Completely harmless – or is it?
His approach is completely harmless, says Stöcker. But such a self-experiment can go wrong. The novel corona virus has only been researched for a few months. The risks are not yet well known. Experts are currently not in agreement whether a survived infection will make them immune in the long term.
Since March, Stöcker has injected his self-developed vaccine into the thigh muscle a total of four times, at intervals of one to two weeks – in ever increasing doses. “To save time” he didn’t even ask for approval. In mid-May, he announced on his blog: “I am now immune to Sars-Cov-2!” Several tests had shown that his body had raised antibodies to Sars-Cov-2. However, his website has not been online since this week.
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Stöcker should know what he is doing: he is 73 years old and therefore belongs to the Corona risk group. He was born in Saxony and went to school in Pegnitz. From 1967 he studied medicine in Würzburg and also did his doctorate. In 1987, Stöcker founded the diagnostics laboratory “Euroimmun”, which also sells tests for the coronaviruses Sars-Cov-1 and Mers-Cov. In 2017, he sold his company to a medical technology company in the United States for 1.2 billion euros. Euroimmun has also launched a test for Sars-Cov-2 in the meantime, equipping the study that has become known in the Heinsberg district in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Self-experiments are controversial
However, self-tests are not very meaningful. It is not possible for an individual to conclude how other people react to the drug. This is one of the reasons why there are international standards, independent controls and certain levels that have to be observed, especially for vaccine development. Ethics committees must also agree to the studies.
A drug is first tested in cell cultures and on laboratory animals. The drug or vaccine then goes through three closely monitored clinical phases, initially with a few and then more and more test subjects. It often takes another six months for the competent authorities to approve a marketing authorization.
Stöcker writes: “As expected, I tolerated the vaccinations well. I felt good all the time and stayed healthy.” He now advocates testing his vaccine on other people. To do this, the doctor would have to follow the same rules as everyone else. Otherwise he will not get approval for his experiments.
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