Pfizer and BioNTech are currently working together to develop a candidate vaccine against COVID-19 as announced by this group this morning. This collaboration is expected to accelerate the development of this vaccine called BNT162 to prevent coronavirus contamination. This collaboration also builds on an agreement put in place in 2018 between the two entities to develop an influenza vaccine also based on mRNA.
It is thus in the morning of Tuesday, March 17, 2020 that the Pfizer Group issued a press release announcing that in the context of a collaboration with the company BioNTech, it was working on the development and future distribution outside China of a possible mRNA vaccine to prevent Covid-19 contamination. The companies have signed a material transfer and collaboration agreement to allow the parties to begin working together immediately.
The collaboration aims to accelerate the development of the potential of BioNTech's first COVID-19 mRNA vaccine program, BNT162, which is expected to enter clinical trials by the end of April 2020. The rapid progress of this collaboration builds on the research and development collaboration that Pfizer and BioNTech entered in 2018 to develop mRNA-based vaccines for the prevention of influenza.
Pfizer Scientific Director and President of Global Research and Medical Development, Mikael Dolsten said this morning : "We are proud that our ongoing and successful relationship with BioNTech gives our companies the resilience to mobilize our collective resources with extraordinary speed in the face of this global challenge. We believe that by combining Pfizer's development, regulatory and commercial capabilities with BioNTech's mRNA vaccine technology and expertise as one of the industry leaders, we strengthen our commitment to do everything we can to fight this growing pandemic as quickly as possible.
For his part, Ugur Sahin, co-founder and CEO of BioNTech said: "This is a global pandemic, which requires a global effort. By joining forces with our partner Pfizer, we believe we can accelerate our efforts to get COVID-19 vaccine to the people around the world who need it".
The companies plan to use several research and development sites of both companies, including in the United States and Germany, to host the activities identified by the collaboration agreement.
The companies will begin collaborating immediately. They will finalize the details of the agreement regarding financial terms and all activities related to development, manufacturing and potential commercialization in the coming weeks".