The vaccine programme is expected to enter clinical testing by the end of April
US-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer has joined forces with German biotechnology firm BioNTech to co-develop a potential vaccine for the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The companies will jointly develop BioNTech’s mRNA-based vaccine candidate BNT162 to prevent coronavirus infection.
The vaccine programme is expected to enter clinical testing by the end of next month.
The companies have signed a letter of intent for the vaccine’s distribution outside China.
Pfizer and BioNTech will begin working together on the new vaccine immediately
Pfizer and BioNTech will commence working together on the new vaccine immediately, even as they finalise details for the agreement around financials, development, manufacturing and commercialisation of the final product. They have already executed a material transfer and collaboration agreement.
Pfizer worldwide research, development and medical chief scientific officer and president Mikael Dolsten said: “We are proud that our ongoing, successful relationship with BioNTech gives our companies the resiliency to mobilise our collective resources with extraordinary speed in the face of this worldwide challenge.
“We believe that by pairing Pfizer’s development, regulatory and commercial capabilities with BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine technology and expertise as one of the industry leaders, we are reinforcing our commitment to do everything we can to combat this escalating pandemic, as quickly as possible.”
Pfizer and BioNTech will use research and development sites from both companies, including in the US and Germany.
BioNTech co-founder and CEO Ugur Sahin said: “This is a global pandemic, which requires a global effort. In joining forces with our partner Pfizer, we believe we can accelerate our effort to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to people around the world who need it.”
Recently, Pfizer had issued a call for collaboration between biopharmaceutical companies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2018, the US-based pharmaceutical firm had entered into a collaboration with BioNTech to develop mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.