Pfizer and BioNTech to supply 120 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Japan

3 August 2020 (Last Updated August 3rd, 2020 12:46)

Pfizer and BioNTech have entered an agreement with Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) to provide 120 million doses of their BNT162 Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

Pfizer and BioNTech to supply 120 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Japan
Pfizer and BioNTech intend to file for regulatory approval in October this year. Credit: Lauri Silvennoinen.

Pfizer and BioNTech have entered an agreement with Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) to provide 120 million doses of their BNT162 Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

While financial details of the deal were not divulged, the terms were said to be based on the delivery timing and the volume of doses; deliveries are planned for the first half of next year.

Based on BioNTech’s mRNA technology, the BNT162 vaccine programme is supported by Pfizer’s vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities, involving at least four vaccine candidates.

Two of the four experimental vaccines, BNT162b1 and BNT162b2, obtained fast track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If clinical trials yield positive data, Pfizer and BioNTech intend to file for regulatory review of BNT162b2 as early as October.

In case regulatory authorisation or approval is granted, the companies plan to supply up to 100 million doses globally by the end of this year and around 1.3 billion doses by the end of next year.

Pfizer CEO and chairman Albert Bourla said: “Under these difficult circumstances, we are proud to help support Japan in its steadfast determination to bring the world together at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, in a celebration of solidarity, friendship and the power of sport as a global force for good.

“Our hope is that, subject to clinical and regulatory success, our potential vaccine will help make this happen.”

Last month, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense executed an agreement valued at $1.95bn with Pfizer and BioNTech for up to 600 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162.

In addition, the companies hope to possibly supply to the COVAX Facility formed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO).