Pfizer and BioNTech have further expanded its existing Covid-19 vaccine collaboration, to include multiple candidates. Its original partnership was signed in March and was specific to BioNTech's BNT162 as a potential Covid-19 vaccine.
BioNTech co-founder and CEO Ugur Sahin said: “We have already started working with Pfizer on our Covid-19 vaccine and are pleased to announce these further details of our ongoing collaboration, which reflects both companies’ strong commitment to move quickly to bring a safe and efficacious vaccine to patients worldwide."
The two partners will jointly share clinical development of the vaccine candidates in the US and Europe; they are hoping to advance their first candidate into clinical trials in April 2020.
As the vaccines will be created by leveraging BioNTech's mRNA vaccine platform, and supported by Pfizer's extensive vaccine expertise, Pfizer will pay $184m upfront to its partner, which includes a $72m of cash payment and an equity investment of $113m.
Pfizer chief scientific officer and president of worldwide research, development and medical Mikael Dolsten said: “Combatting the Covid-19 pandemic will require unprecedented collaboration across the innovation ecosystem, with companies coming together to unite capabilities like never before.
“I am proud of Pfizer’s collaboration with BioNTech and have every confidence in our ability to harness the power of science – together – to bring forth a potential vaccine that the world needs as quickly as possible.”