- US pharma giant Pfizer Inc and German biotech firm BioNTech SE claimed their vaccine is 95 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19.
- The company will now apply for approval from the US FDA for Emergency Use Authorization.
- Once approved, up to 50 million vaccine doses are likely to be rolled out by the end of 2020 and 1.3 billion doses by 2021-end.
Pharma giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE, PFE:US) Wednesday claimed that its vaccine candidate is 95 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19. The company plans to apply for approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and share it with regulatory agencies across the globe.
The US-based drug maker and its German research partner BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX, BNTSX:US) shared the final results from the ongoing Phase 3 trials before North American markets opened. They claimed the mRNA-based COVID-19 jab for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus, showed consistent effectiveness across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics.
The eight-month study, with over 43,000 participants, displayed no serious safety concerns. The Phase 3 clinical trials began on July 27. The mild adverse effects included fatigue for 3.8 per cent recipients and headache for two per cent recipients following the second dose of the vaccine. The vaccine’s efficacy in people aged 65+ is more than 94 per cent, the report added.
Once approved, the companies are aiming to roll out up to 50 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020 and 1.3 billion doses by 2021-end.
Pfizer aims to leverage its four manufacturing and supply chain facilities spread across the United States (St. Louis, Missouri; Andover, Massachusetts; and Kalamazoo, Michigan) and Belgium (Puurs). BioNTech’s German facilities too will be leveraged for global supply.
This is an important milestone in the “historic eight-month journey” to develop a vaccine that ends the devastating pandemic, said Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr Albert Bourla.
The coronavirus pandemic has infected over 55.9 million people and claimed over 1.34 million lives till date across the world.
STOCK MARKET REACTION
US and Canadian equity futures surged on Wednesday morning the back of this development.
Pfizer stock is up by 2.66 per cent while BioNTech gained ~6 per cent during pre-market trade (8:15 AM ET).
Earlier in the week, biotech firm Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA, MRNA:US) claimed its vaccine has 94.5 per cent efficacy in preventing Covid-19, causing a broad stock market rally on Monday and Tuesday. Bullish investors engaged in massive sell-off and shifted back to riskier assets.
US gold futures were down 0.72 per cent to US$ 1,871.45 per ounce at the time of filing this story.
AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, the third vaccine contenders, are also expected to release results of their latest trial in next few days. Johnson & Johnson has also claimed to deliver a vaccine by the end of 2020.
However, the distribution of these vaccines remains a challenge. The Pfizer- BioNTech jab needs to be stored at -70°C (-94°F) while Moderna's requires to be stored between -20°C (-4°F) and 8°C (46°F).