BioNTech and Pfizer Report Good News From Vaccine Trial

Marco Green
July 4, 2020

A new COVID-19 vaccine candidate has delivered promising preliminary data, USA pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech announced Wednesday.

The potential treatment is the fourth early-stage Covid-19 drug to show promise in human testing amid a global race to find a vaccine to end the worldwide pandemic that has infected 10.5 million people and killed more than half a million till date. This early-stage study of BNT162b1 included 45 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55, with participants split into three dose groups. Aside from this data, the researchers also observed a common local reaction of injection site pain and low-grade fever which was more common after the second dose than the first dose.

The companies announced these preliminary findings on Wednesday in a pre-print paper that shows participants in a Phase 1/2 study of the vaccine, called BNT162b1, responded to the immunization and it was found to be well tolerated. This next trial could start as soon as the end of the month if the project is approved.

If the ongoing studies are successful and the vaccine candidate receives regulatory approval, the companies expect to manufacture up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially more than 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021. Data from a German trial of the same vaccine are expected to be released by mid-July. Though there is no guarantee a safe and effective vaccine ever will be developed, several candidates have been labeled promising.

But some investors urged calm and caution over the positive results from yet another vaccine candidate. The ever-rising number of cases prompted World Health Organization officials to warn that countries with increasing numbers of cases might need to reinstate lockdowns as well as other restrictions to curb the virus' spread. With nearly 10.5 million confirmed cases around the globe and over half a million deaths, drug makers are under increasing pressure to deliver.

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