Pfizer and BioNTech Working on Universal Coronavirus Vaccine

Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and BioNTech have revealed that they are currently working on a universal vaccine against coronaviruses, including COVID-19, its variants, and SARS-CoV-2.

German-owned BioNTech unveiled its collaboration with Pfizer during its investors’ day on Wednesday and expressed that its goal was to “Provide durable variant protection.” 

“Discussions with regulators are ongoing to define most appropriate pathways to leverage the current experience and ensure that variant-adapted vaccines can be made available in the future to timely address newly emerging variants/sublineages,” read a part of BioNTech’s 157-slide presentation.

According to BioNTech, the second half of the year will see the beginning of human testing for the universal vaccine that aims to defend against a wide range of coronaviruses.

The presentation reported that two Omicron-adapted COVID-19 vaccine candidates showed promising results, revealing that both vaccines significantly increased Omicron BA.1’s immune response when administered as boosters.

BioNTech also revealed that it also aims to produce at least 80 million doses of mRNA-based vaccines per year within the next five years. 

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer Albert Boula said that the company looks forward to “Discussing these data with the scientific community and health authorities so we may rapidly introduce an Omicron-adapted booster as soon as possible if authorized by regulators.”

BioNTech currently has 21 active clinical trials and 17 product candidates that are in the clinical development stage.

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