Two major pharma companies - Pfizer from the US and BioNTech from Germany - on Tuesday announced to join hands to co-develop and distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine aimed at preventing COVID-19 infection.
The companies have executed a Material Transfer and Collaboration Agreement to enable the parties to immediately start working together, a media release said on Tuesday.
According to the statement, the collaboration aims to accelerate development of BioNTech's potential first-in-class COVID-19 mRNA vaccine program, BNT162, which is expected to enter clinical testing by the end of April 2020.
The rapid advancement of this collaboration builds on the research and development collaboration into which Pfizer and BioNTech entered in 2018 to develop mRNA-based vaccines for prevention of influenza, it said.
"This is a global pandemic, which requires a global effort. In joining forces with our partner Pfizer, we believe we can accelerate our effort to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to people around the world who need it," said Ugur Sahin, co-founder and CEO of BioNTech.
The companies expect to utilize multiple research and development sites from both companies, including in the United States and Germany, to house the activities identified by the collaboration agreement.
"We believe that by pairing Pfizer's development, regulatory and commercial capabilities with BioNTech's mRNA vaccine technology and expertise as one of the industry leaders, we are reinforcing our commitment to do everything we can to combat this escalating pandemic, as quickly as possible," said Mikael Dolsten, chief scientific officer and president, Worldwide Research, Development & Medical, Pfizer. LKJ ZH ZH