Pfizer, Biontech announce vaccine candidate against Covid-19

Declare success in first interim analysis from Phase 3 study, vaccine candidate found to be more than 90 per cent effective in preventing coronavirus

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PfizerPfizer Inc and BioNTech SE have announced their mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, against SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated evidence of efficacy against Covid-19 in participants without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

They claimed this based on the first interim efficacy analysis conducted on November 8, 2020 by an external, independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) from the Phase 3 clinical study.

Dr Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, said, “Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent Covid-19.”

Critical milestone

He added that they are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen.

“With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks,” he added.

The companies, after discussion with the FDA, recently elected to drop the 32-case interim analysis and conduct the first interim analysis at a minimum of 62 cases.

After the conclusion of those discussions, the evaluable case count reached 94 and the DMC performed its first analysis on all cases. The case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo indicates a vaccine efficacy rate above 90 per cent, at seven days after the second dose.

In other words, protection is achieved 28 days after the initiation of the vaccination, which consists of a 2-dose schedule. As the study continues, the final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary.

(With inputs from The OnLook News Research Bureau)

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