Pfizer and BioNTech reach further collaboration in COVID-19 vaccine production

Sunday, Apr 12, 2020 15:00

Pfizer and BioNTech recently have reached further collaboration in the production of COVID-19 vaccine. — Photo Getty Image

BioNTech and Pfizer Inc have reached further in their collaboration to advance candidates from BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine programme, previously announced on March 17, 2020.

The collaboration aims to rapidly advance multiple COVID-19 vaccine candidates into human clinical testing based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA vaccine platforms, with the objective of ensuring rapid worldwide access to the vaccine, if approved.

The collaboration will leverage Pfizer’s broad expertise in vaccine research and development, regulatory capabilities, and global manufacturing and distribution network.

“Combatting the COVID-19 pandemic will require unprecedented collaboration across the innovation ecosystem, with companies coming together to unite capabilities like never before,” said Mikael Dolsten, Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development & Medical, Pfizer.

“I am proud of Pfizer’s collaboration with BioNTech and have every confidence in our ability to harness the power of science – together – to bring forth a potential vaccine that the world needs as quickly as possible,” said Dolsten.

The two companies plan to jointly conduct clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine candidates initially in the United States and Europe across multiple sites. BioNTech and Pfizer intend to initiate the first clinical trials as early as the end of April 2020, assuming regulatory clearance.  

During the clinical development stage, BioNTech and its partners will provide clinical supply of the vaccine from its GMP-certified mRNA manufacturing facilities in Europe.

BioNTech and Pfizer will work together to scale-up manufacturing capacity at risk to provide worldwide supply in response to the pandemic. The two companies will also work jointly to commercialize the vaccine worldwide (excluding China, which is already covered by BioNTech’s collaboration with Fosun Pharma) upon regulatory approval.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will pay BioNTech US$185 million in upfront payments, including a cash payment of $72 million and an equity investment of $113 million.

BioNTech is eligible to receive future milestone payments of up to $563 million for a potential total consideration of $748 million. Pfizer and BioNTech will share development costs equally.

Initially, Pfizer will fund 100 per cent of the development costs, and BioNTech will repay Pfizer its 50 per cent share of these costs during the commercialisation of the vaccine. — VNS

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