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UK government orders 30mln doses of Pfizer /BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

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The UK government had ordered 30mln does of Pfizer Inc’s (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech SE’s (NASDAQ:BNTX) new their BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2.

Delivery is due in 2020 and 2021 subject to the vaccine passing through its regulatory trials and the two developers received a boost last week when US regulators granted it fast track status.

The FDA said it made the designation based on encouraging preliminary data from the Phase 1/2 studies currently ongoing in the US and Germany.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to start a Phase 2b/3 safety and efficacy trial later this month and seek regulatory review as early as October.

Once approved, the plans are to manufacture globally up to 100mln doses by the end of 2020 and more than 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021

No financial details of the UK agreement were given, but the two companies said the terms were based on the timing of delivery and the volume of doses.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive, said: “This agreement is a testament to our shared goal to have millions of doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 available before the end of the year. 

 We would like to thank the UK government for its commitment and support in helping to protect the people of the United Kingdom from this deadly virus.”

The BNT162 program is based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology and supported by Pfizer’s global vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities.

Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine development program is evaluating at least four experimental vaccines, each of which represents a unique combination of messenger RNA (mRNA) format and target antigen.

BNT162b1 is the most advanced of the four mRNA formulations and studies have shown it can produce neutralising antibodies in humans at or above the levels observed in the plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19.

The news comes ahead of an expected announcement on the efficacy of a vaccine being developed by Oxford University in collaboration with AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN).

Reports last week suggested details of the study might be published in The Lancet this week.

Another UK drug giant, GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK), meanwhile has teamed up with the German vaccine specialist that was offered “large sums of money” by US President Donald Trump for its coronavirus vaccine.

GSK and CureVac have signed a strategic collaboration agreement to research, develop, manufacture and bring to market up to five vaccines and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) based on their mRNA technology and targeting infectious diseases. 

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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