Pfizer To Jointly Accelerate COVID-19 Vaccine Development

BioNTech mRNA vaccine candidate BNT162 enters clinical study during April 2020

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Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE are collaborating to rapidly accelerate the development of a first-in-class COVID-19 mRNA vaccine candidate, BNT162, which is expected to enter clinical trials by the end of April 2020.

BNT162 is BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine program aimed at preventing COVID-19 infection. It is the first product candidate from Project Lightspeed and leverages BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA platforms.

This collaboration announced on March 17, 2020, builds on the research and development collaboration into which Pfizer and BioNTech entered in 2018 to develop mRNA-based vaccines for the prevention of influenza.

mRNA is a long, polymeric molecule, composed of four different building blocks called nucleotides, says BioNTech. 

In mRNA, hundreds or thousands of nucleotides are linked in a unique order to convey genetic information to cells, where it is used to express proteins with biological effects.

A mRNA drug needs to be appropriately formulated in order to be protected from degradation by extracellular RNAses. The right formulation is critical to ensure the appropriate delivery of the RNA to the intended site of action.

Mikael Dolsten, Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development & Medical, Pfizer, said in a press release, “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.”

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The companies expect to utilize multiple research and development sites from both companies, including in the United States and Germany, to house the activities identified by the collaboration agreement.

This is important news since there is not a preventive vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus available today.

On March 13, 2020, Pfizer issued a 5-point plan calling on the biopharmaceutical industry to join the company in committing to unprecedented collaboration to combat COVID-19.

Pfizer’s plan promises to help scientists more rapidly bring forward therapies and vaccines to protect humankind from this escalating pandemic and prepare the industry to better respond to future global health crises.

SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak news is published by Coronavirus Today.

Coronavirus vaccine development news is published by Precision Vaccinations.