Pfizer and BioNTech advance COVID-19 vaccine strategy with study start of next-generation vaccine candidate based on enhanced spike protein design

PfizerPfizer 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.

About Pfizer: Breakthroughs That Change Patients' Lives

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.

About BioNTech

Biopharmaceutical New Technologies is a next generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. The Company exploits a wide array of computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms for the rapid development of novel biopharmaceuticals. Its broad portfolio of oncology product candidates includes individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bi-specific checkpoint immuno-modulators, targeted cancer antibodies and small molecules. Based on its deep expertise in mRNA vaccine development and in-house manufacturing capabilities, BioNTech and its collaborators are developing multiple mRNA vaccine candidates for a range of infectious diseases alongside its diverse oncology pipeline. BioNTech has established a broad set of relationships with multiple global pharmaceutical collaborators, including Genmab, Sanofi, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Regeneron, Genevant, Fosun Pharma, and Pfizer.

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