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Pfizer seeking emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine

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NEW YORK  — Pfizer and BioNTech SE announced they will submit a request Friday to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of their mRNA vaccine candidate, BNT162b2 against SARS-CoV-2, which will potentially enable use of the vaccine in high-risk populations in the U.S. by the middle to end of December 2020.

The submission is based on a vaccine efficacy rate of 95% (p<0.0001) demonstrated in the companies’ Phase 3 clinical study in participants without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (first primary objective) and also in participants with and without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (second primary objective), in each case measured from 7 days after the second dose. The first primary objective analysis was based on 170 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“Our work to deliver a safe and effective vaccine has never been more urgent, as we continue to see an alarming rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 globally. Filing in the U.S. represents a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world and we now have a more complete picture of both the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine, giving us confidence in its potential,” said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer chairman and CEO. “We look forward to the upcoming Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee discussion and continue to work closely with the FDA and regulatory authorities worldwide to secure authorization of our vaccine candidate as quickly as possible.”

“Filing for Emergency Use Authorization in the U.S. is a critical step in making our vaccine candidate available to the global population as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. “We intend to continue to work with regulatory agencies worldwide to enable the rapid distribution of our vaccine globally. As a company located in Germany in the heart of Europe, our interactions with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are of particular importance to us and we have continuously provided data to them as part of our rolling review process.”

The companies have already initiated rolling submissions with several regulatory agencies around the world, including the EMA and the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom, and intend to submit applications to other regulatory agencies worldwide in the coming days. In some cases, governments may have regulatory pathways similar to an EUA. The companies will be ready to distribute the vaccine candidate within hours after authorization.

Pfizer and BioNTech are extremely grateful to the study volunteers and investigative site staff in the clinical trial program, as their involvement was crucial to today’s important milestone in the companies’ efforts to address the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The BNT162b2 vaccine candidate is not currently approved for distribution anywhere in the world. Both collaborators are committed to developing this novel vaccine with preclinical and clinical data at the forefront of all their decision making.


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