July 10, 2020 / Karen Robinson-Jacobs, Forbes Staff
A German biotech firm working with New York-based pharma giant Pfizer Inc. to develop a coronavirus vaccine claims it’s confident it will be ready to seek regulatory approval for widespread distribution of its drug by the end of the year, its chief executive told the Wall Street Journal, making what scientists had seen as an optimistic goal appear achievable.
- BioNTech expects to begin the final stage of the testing process, called Phase 3 trials, at the end of this month, with 30,000 people taking part in a randomized study of the vaccine that could be completed by the end of the year, when the company would seek market approval from regulators across the globe, according to the Journal.
- There is no cure for the deadly virus that in seven months has infected 12.3 million people worldwide and caused more than a half million deaths, meaning the winner of the vaccine sweepstakes stands to bring in billions.
- Earlier this week, U.S. vaccine specialist Novavax said in a news release it will receive $1.6 billion from the federal government to support the development of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate as a new member of the government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program, which aims to accelerate development of a vaccine.
- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that adding Novavax’ candidate to Operation Warp Speed’s “diverse portfolio of vaccines increases the odds that we will have a safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year.”