Pfizer and BioNTech Advance COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy With Study Start of Next-Generation Vaccine Candidate Based on Enhanced Spike Protein Design
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced that the companies have initiated a randomized, active-controlled, observer-blind Phase 2 study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immune response of an enhanced COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccine candidate at a 30 µg dose level. This next-generation bivalent COVID-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162b5, consists of RNAs encoding enhanced prefusion spike proteins for the SARS-CoV-2 ancestral strain (wild-type) and an Omicron variant. The enhanced spike protein encoded from the mRNAs in BNT162b5 has been modified with the aim of increasing the magnitude and breadth of the immune response that could better protect against COVID-19.
This is the first of multiple vaccine candidates with an enhanced design which the companies plan to evaluate as part of a long-term scientific COVID-19 vaccine strategy to potentially generate more robust, longer-lasting, and broader immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 infections and associated COVID-19.
BNT162b5 will be evaluated in a U.S.-based study enrolling approximately 200 participants aged between 18 and 55 who have received one booster dose of a U.S.-authorized COVID-19 vaccine at least 90 days prior to their first study visit. Participants will be stratified by the number of months since their last dose of COVID-19 vaccine received prior to entering the study (three to six months or more than six months). The study does not include a placebo (injection with no active ingredient). For more information about this study please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov on this link.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, BNT162b2, which is based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology, was developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer. BioNTech is the Marketing Authorization Holder in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and other countries, and the holder of emergency use authorizations or equivalents in the United States (jointly with Pfizer) and other countries. Submissions to pursue regulatory approvals in those countries where emergency use authorizations or equivalent were initially granted are planned.