Biotech firms Pfizer and BioNTech said on Wednesday they had signed a $ 1.95 billion deal with the U.S. departments of Health and Defense to deliver hundreds of millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine that Americans should receive free once finalized.
Under the agreement, the US government will receive 100 million doses of BNT162, the experimental vaccine against Covid-19 jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and could acquire up to 500 million additional doses, according to the Wall Street Journal, which specifies that Pfizer should take charge of the manufacture of the vaccine.
The BNT162 program is based on proprietary “mRNA” technology from German company BioNTech and supported by Pfizer’s global vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities.
The investigational BNT162 vaccines are in clinical studies and are not currently approved for worldwide distribution, it is added.
Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine development program is currently evaluating at least four experimental vaccines. If the studies are successful, Pfizer and BioNTech plan to apply for emergency use authorization or some form of regulatory approval as early as next October.
The two companies currently plan to manufacture up to 100 million doses globally by the end of the year and potentially more than 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021, subject to final selection of ‘a vaccine from their clinical trials.