Pfizer and BioNTech have reached an agreement with the European Commission (EC) for the supply of 200 million doses of their investigational BNT162b2 mRNA-based vaccine candidate against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.

In September, the companies concluded exploratory talks with the EC to supply doses of the vaccine candidate, if approved, and the latest supply agreement is now final.

Under the agreement, Pfizer and BioNTech will supply BNT162b2 to European Union (EU) Member States.

The EC also has an option to request another 100 million doses of the vaccine candidate.

Subject to clinical success and regulatory authorisation, deliveries are expected to begin by this year-end.

The vaccine doses will be manufactured in BioNTech’s manufacturing sites in Germany and Pfizer’s Belgium site for supply in Europe.

Upon receiving approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate will be ordered by the EU Member States.

Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said: “Since the onset of the pandemic, Pfizer’s priority has been to develop a safe and effective vaccine, while simultaneously scaling up our manufacturing to deliver doses before the end of the year.

“Today’s finalised supply agreement with the European Commission represents the largest initial order of vaccine doses for Pfizer and BioNTech to date and a major step toward our shared goal of making a Covid-19 vaccine available to vulnerable populations.”

Based on current projections, it is expected that Pfizer and BioNTech will produce up to 50 million vaccine doses this year and up to 1.3 billion doses next year worldwide.

Last month, Pfizer and BioNTech initiated a rolling submission to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for BNT162b2.