Pfizer to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine in Kalamazoo

Henrietta Strickland
May 5, 2020

Study participants in the program in Germany were given doses of the vaccine last week and now the U.S. trial - at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in NY and the University of Maryland School of Medicine - is underway, the companies have revealed.

Pfizer teamed up with German drugmaker BioNTech and began the trial last week in Germany.

The initial manufacturing of the vaccine will happen in three of Pfizer's US sites, including the Portage facility.

Sites now dosing participants include NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Medicine, with the University of Rochester Medical Center/Rochester Regional Health and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to begin enrollment shortly. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center will begin enrollment shortly.

There are now no approved treatments or vaccines for the new coronavirus, though some drugs are being used on patients under an emergency use authorization.

Stage one of the clinical trial in the USA will enroll up to 360 healthy subjects into two age cohorts: 18-55 and 65-85, according to the release.

The trial will initially aim to test different dosing regimens of four potential vaccine candidates on around 360 healthy volunteers divided into a younger cohort and a group of seniors.

The effort by Pfizer and BioNTech are among several researchers who are working on a vaccine to prevent Covid-19, which has sickened more than 3.5 million people worldwide and has killed at least 247,752 as of Monday night, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

More than 100 vaccines in development globally as of April 30, according to the World Health Organization, with at least eight vaccine candidates already in human trials.

Hopes to get a vaccine to market are high, but scientists are setting expectations low for how quickly it can happen.

"This is potentially great news for our world and our community", he said.

The two health tech giants expect to scale up to hundreds of millions in 2021, according to the release.

"COVID-19 has shown how vulnerable our country is when it comes to supply chain and much of the lifesaving materials we need are manufactured out of the country", the governor said Tuesday.

"Even going from a few million to 20 million will allow you to protect the epicenters of the virus, and then drive out the virus from our society as we ramp up to hundreds of millions", Pfizer research chief Mikael Dolsten told Reuters in an interview. Pfizer is investing in developing its own manufacturing capacity for the vaccine, and is preparing sites in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and Belgium to begin producing it.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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