UK Orders Large Quantity of Pfizer mRNA Vaccine

The development of BNT162 is based on BioNTech’s mRNA platform; the vaccine will then be produced using Pfizer’s vaccine manufacturing capacities.

Pfizer and BioNTech will supply 30 million doses of the BNT162 coronavirus vaccine. The messenger RNA (mRNA) based vaccine is currently in development, and the agreement is contingent on clinical results against SARS-CoV-2.

The development of BNT162 is based on BioNTech’s mRNA platform; the vaccine will then be produced using Pfizer’s vaccine manufacturing capacities.The vaccine is not currently approved for distribution.

Financial details of the agreement were also not disclosed. BioNTech will hold trademarks for the potential product.

“I would like to thank the U.K. government for its support and putting trust in us. This agreement is part of our commitment to address the pandemic by creating a global supply. We are in advanced discussions with multiple other government bodies and hope to announce additional supply agreements soon. Our goal remains to bring a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to many people around the world, as quickly as we can,” Ugur Sahin, MD, CEO of BioNTech, said in a press release.

The collaborative vaccine development program is evaluating several experimental vaccines in various mRNA formats. BNT162b1 is considered by the companies to be the most advanced of the 4 mRNA formulations in development. BNT162b1 appears able to produce neutralizing antibodies in humans at or above the levels observed in the plasma from patients who have recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as shown at low dose levels. No serious adverse reactions or safety concerns have been reported.

“Finding a vaccine is one way that we will end the pandemic and return to normal life. That is why we are making sure people most at risk in the UK are vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as a safe vaccine becomes available, by partnering with the world’s foremost pharmaceutical and vaccine companies,” Alok Sharma, UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, commented.

In addition to plans with several governments, Pfizer and BioNTech are in talks to supply to the COVAX Facility, a collaborative established by the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other partners.

The program "aims to provide governments with early access to a large portfolio of COVID-19 candidate vaccines using a range of technology platforms, produced by multiple manufacturers across the world," according to Pfizer and BioNTech's announcement.