Pfizer, BioNTech give details about mRNA COVID-19 vaccine deal

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

April 9, 2020 -- Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech) and Pfizer have released additional details regarding their collaboration to advance the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162. Pfizer will pay up to $748 million to BioNTech.

The collaboration aims to accelerate development of BioNTech's COVID-19 mRNA vaccine program, BNT162, which was initially announced on March 17. The companies have been working together since 2018 on an initial mRNA influenza vaccine program.

The two companies plan to begin clinical trials of BNT162 in the U.S. and Europe later this month. Clinical development will make use of BioNTech's proprietary mRNA vaccine platform. Pfizer will provide research and development, manufacturing, and regulatory expertise. The companies will work together to scale up manufacturing capacity and commercialize the vaccine worldwide.

Under the agreement, Pfizer will pay BioNTech $185 million in upfront payments and BioNTech will be eligible to receive milestone payments of up to $563 million. Development costs will be shared equally between the companies, with Pfizer funding 100% of development costs and BioNTech repaying Pfizer during the commercialization of the vaccine.

This collaboration is part of Pfizer's five-point plan to collaborate to combat COVID-19.

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