Yesterday afternoon, leading global mRNA-based vaccine developers BioNTech SE (BNTX:NASDAQ) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE:NYSE) announced that the two companies had entered into a new vaccine supply agreement with the U.S. government to support ongoing efforts in combatting COVID-19.
Under the terms of the agreement, BioNTech and Pfizer will be tasked with supplying the U.S. government with 105 million additional COVID-19 doses in various strengths (30 µg, 10 µg and 3 µg) starting in late summer and ti be completed by the end of Q4/22 for a delivered price of $3.2 billion.
The firms noted that predicated upon receipt of authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is possible that these vaccines may include adult Omicron-adapted COVID-19 vaccines.
The agreement stipulates that the U.S. government will have the option to purchase up to 195 million additional doses, which if it elected would bring the total number of ordered doses to 300 million.
Pfizer's Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla commented, "As the virus evolves, this new agreement will help ensure people across the country have access to vaccines that may provide protection against current and future variants…Vaccines have been and will remain critical to protecting people of all ages against COVID-19. We remain proud of our long-term partnership with the U.S. government in helping to address this pandemic, and of the ongoing impact of vaccination efforts in the U.S. and around the world."
BioNTech's Chief Business and Chief Commercial Officer Sean Marett stated, "This agreement will provide additional doses for U.S. residents and help cope with the next COVID-19 wave. Pending regulatory authorization, it will also include an Omicron-adapted vaccine, which we believe is important to address the rapidly spreading Omicron variant…We appreciate the continued partnership of the U.S. government in our shared goal to help end this pandemic."
The report indicated that the two companies released "pivotal data demonstrating the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of two Omicron-adapted vaccine candidates" on June 25, 2022. The firms advised that the data was submitted to the FDA and other regulators and indicated that a request for U.S. Emergency Use Authorization is expected to be filed.
In the meantime, the companies stated that they have commenced manufacturing the newer Omicron-adapted vaccine candidates at their own risk in anticipation of a positive response from the FDA and as to be ready to ship as soon as possible upon approvals by the FDA and by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The companies stated that once all necessary authorizations are obtained, "eligible U.S. residents will continue to receive the vaccine for free, consistent with the U.S. government's commitment for free access to COVID-19 vaccines."
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was jointly developed using BioNTech's proprietary messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology. The report pointed out that "BioNTech is the Marketing Authorization Holder in the U.S., the EU, the U.K., Canada and other countries, and the holder of emergency use authorizations or equivalents in the U.S. (jointly with Pfizer) and other countries."
BioNTech is based in Mainz, Germany. The company is focused on providing next generation immunotherapies for cancer and other serious diseases. The firm stated that "its broad portfolio of oncology product candidates includes individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bi-specific checkpoint immuno-modulators, targeted cancer antibodies and small molecules."
Pfizer is a global biopharma company headquartered in New York, N.Y. The firm is engaged in the discovery, development, and manufacture of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products. Pfizer's global brand portfolio includes many well-known medications including Celebrex, Eliquis, Lipitor, Prevnar 13, Viagra and Xeljanz. The firm's shares trade on the NYSE and it has a market cap of around $286 billion.
BioNTech started the day with a market cap of around $34.5 billion with approximately 243.0 million shares outstanding. BNTX shares opened more than 3% higher today at $146.525 (+$4.545, +3.20%) over yesterday's $141.98 closing price. The stock traded today between $142.10 and $153.80 per share and closed for trading at $149.10 (+$7.12, +5.01%).
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