Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) have signed a letter of intent regarding the co-development and distribution (excluding China) of a potential mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine aimed at preventing COVID-19 infection.
The companies have executed a Material Transfer and Collaboration Agreement to enable the parties to immediately start working together.
The collaboration aims to accelerate development of BioNTech’s potential first-in-class COVID-19 mRNA vaccine program, BNT162, which is expected to enter clinical testing by the end of April 2020. The rapid advancement of this collaboration builds on the research and development collaboration into which Pfizer and BioNTech entered in 2018 to develop mRNA-based vaccines for prevention of influenza.
The companies expect to utilize multiple research and development sites from both companies, including in the United States and Germany, to house the activities identified by the collaboration agreement. They will begin collaborating immediately and finalize details of the agreement regarding financial terms, and all activities related to development, manufacturing and potential commercialization over the next few weeks.
On March 13, 2020, Pfizer issued a five-point plan calling on the biopharmaceutical industry to join the company in committing to collaboration to combat COVID-19.