Drugs Pharma

Pfizer, BioNTech start trial on one vaccine to prevent both Covid-19, influenza


HQ Team

November 4, 2022: The US-based drugmaker Pfizer Inc and Germany’s BioNTech have started clinical trials for a vaccine to prevent both Covid-19 and influenza.

The first participant has been dosed in a phase 1 trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a nucleoside-modified RNA (modRNA)-based combination vaccine approach, the companies stated.

 The FDA approved the vaccine, Comirnaty, in August last year for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 12 years of age and older. 

Comirnaty is a monovalent COVID-19 vaccine approved as a two-dose primary series to prevent COVID-19. The valence or valency of an element is the measure of its combining capacity with other atoms when it forms chemical compounds or molecules. 

Emergency use

The drug regulator also permitted emergency use of the vaccine to provide a third primary series dose to individuals 12 years of age and older with certain immunocompromise. 

“Even with existing seasonal influenza vaccines, the burden of this virus is severe across the world, causing thousands of deaths and hospitalizations every year,” said Annaliesa Anderson, chief scientific officer of Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer.

Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech), said the trail data will also provide both companies “with more insights on the potential of mRNA vaccines addressing more than one pathogen.”

180 volunteers

The trials, conducted in the US on 180 healthy volunteers aged 18 and 64, will last at least six months. 

The companies will share the development costs, which is the fourth collaboration between Pfizer and BioNTech in infectious diseases.

The Covid-19 virus has claimed the lives of more than 6.5 million people globally. Influenza accounts for up to 12,000 to 52,000 deaths in the US annually and is equally concerning in the European Union.

With the flexibility and versatility of mRNA technology, vaccine candidates can be adjusted rapidly to virus variants and aim to offer a valuable solution in the race against virus mutations in both COVID-19 and influenza, according to the joint statement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *