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Pfizer and BioNTech Reach an Agreement to Supply the EU With 200 Million Doses of Their BNT162b2 mRNA-Based Vaccine Candidate Against SARS-CoV-2
The vaccine supply for the EU will be produced by BioNTech’s manufacturing sites in Germany and Pfizer’s manufacturing site in Belgium and based on current projections, the companies expect to produce globally up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021
Pfizer and BioNTech SE have announced that they have reached an agreement with the European Commission to supply 200 million doses of their investigational BNT162b2 mRNA-based vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2 to European Union (EU) Member States, with an option for the European Commission to request an additional 100 million doses. Deliveries are anticipated to start by the end of 2020, subject to clinical success and regulatory authorization.
Vaccine doses for Europe will be produced in BioNTech’s German manufacturing sites, as well as in Pfizer’s manufacturing site in Belgium. If the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate receives approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), then doses will be ordered by the EU Member States who have elected to receive the vaccine as part of this agreement.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, Pfizer’s priority has been to develop a safe and effective vaccine, while simultaneously scaling up our manufacturing to deliver doses before the end of the year. This is an ambitious goal but critical to halting this global pandemic,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer. “Today’s finalized supply agreement with the European Commission represents the largest initial order of vaccine doses for Pfizer and BioNTech to date and a major step toward our shared goal of making a COVID-19 vaccine available to vulnerable populations.”
“As a company founded in the heart of Europe, we are looking forward to supplying millions of people upon regulatory approval. We would like to thank the Commission and the Member States for their support and trust in our COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Our aim is to develop a safe and effective vaccine to contribute to bringing this pandemic to an end. Only through joint efforts will we be able to do so,” said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced the conclusion of exploratory talks with the European Commission to supply doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate, if approved, on September 9, 2020. The proposed supply agreement is now final.
On November 9, 2020, Pfizer and BioNTech announced their mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, against SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated evidence of efficacy against COVID-19 in participants without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, based on the first interim efficacy analysis conducted on November 8, 2020 by an external, independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) from the Phase 3 clinical study. The DMC reviewed 94 cases. The case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo indicates a vaccine efficacy rate above 90%, at 7 days after the second dose. This means that protection is achieved 28 days after the initiation of the vaccination, which consists of a 2-dose schedule. As the study continues, the final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary. The DMC has not reported any serious safety concerns and recommends that the study continue to collect additional safety and efficacy data as planned. The data will be discussed with regulatory authorities worldwide. Pfizer and BioNTech plan to submit data from the full Phase 3 trial for scientific peer-review publication.
In addition to engagements with governments, Pfizer and BioNTech have provided an expression of interest for possible supply to the COVAX Facility, a mechanism established by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and World Health Organization (WHO) that, using a range of technology platforms, aims to provide governments, including those in the emerging markets, with early access to a large portfolio of COVID-19 candidate vaccines produced by multiple manufacturers across the world.
About the BNT162 Vaccine Candidate Program
The BNT162 program is based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology and supported by Pfizer’s global vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities. Two of the companies’ four investigational vaccine candidates – BNT162b1 and BNT162b2 – received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), based on preliminary data from Phase 1/2 studies that are currently ongoing in the U.S. and Germany as well as animal immunogenicity studies. During preclinical and clinical studies, BNT162b1 and BNT162b2 emerged as strong candidates based on assessments of safety and immune response.
On July 27, 2020, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that following extensive review of preclinical and clinical data from Phase 1/2 clinical trials, and in consultation with the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) and other global regulators, the companies selected the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate to move forward into a Phase 2/3 study. BNT162b2 encodes an optimized SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike glycoprotein (S), which is the target of virus neutralizing antibodies.
About the Study
The Phase 3 clinical trial of BNT162b2 began on July 27, 2020 and has enrolled 43,538 participants to date, 38,955 of whom have received a second dose of the vaccine candidate as of November 8, 2020. Approximately 42% of global participants and 30% of U.S. participants have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. The trial is continuing to enroll and is expected to continue through the final analysis when a total of 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases have accrued. The study also will evaluate the potential for the vaccine candidate to provide protection against COVID-19 in those who have had prior exposure to SARS-CoV-2, as well as vaccine prevention against severe COVID-19 disease. In addition to the primary efficacy endpoints evaluating confirmed COVID-19 cases accruing from 7 days after the second dose, the final analysis now will also include, with the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), new secondary endpoints evaluating efficacy based on cases accruing 14 days after the second dose. The companies believe that the addition of these secondary endpoints will help align data across all COVID-19 vaccine studies and allow for cross-trial learnings and comparisons between these novel vaccine platforms. The companies have posted an updated version of the study protocol at https://www.pfizer.com/science/coronavirus.
Pfizer and BioNTech are continuing to accumulate safety data and currently estimate that a median of two months of safety data following the second (and final) dose of the vaccine candidate – the amount of safety data specified by the FDA in its guidance for potential Emergency Use Authorization – will be available by the third week of November. Additionally, participants will continue to be monitored for long-term protection and safety for an additional two years after their second dose. Along with the efficacy data generated from the clinical trial, Pfizer and BioNTech are working to prepare the necessary safety and manufacturing data to submit to the FDA to demonstrate the safety and quality of the vaccine product produced.
Assuming positive data and availability of the necessary safety and manufacturing data, and based on current projections, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021. To meet those anticipated quantities and milestones, the companies have produced sufficient supply for their Phase 2/3 clinical trial and have begun to produce and stockpile their pandemic supply.
The BNT162b2 vaccine candidate is not currently approved for distribution anywhere in the world. Both collaborators are committed to developing these novel vaccines with preclinical and clinical data at the forefront of all their decision making.