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Pfizer and BioNTech launch human trials of coronavirus vaccine

TheStreet logo TheStreet 5/5/2020 Scott Van Voorhis
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Shares of Pfizer and BioNTech rose in tandem Tuesday on news the two life sciences companies have launched a clinical trial to test a set of potential Covid-19 vaccines, that, if successful, could lead to the production of millions of doses by year's end.

Pfizer's stock price rose 1.81% to $38.30 a share, while the Mainz, Germany-based BioNTech's stock price shot up 3.36% to $47.32, after the two companies announced the first doses have been delivered to participants in the clinical trial of their joint Covid-19 vaccine program, BNT162.

Under the first phase of the drug trial, up to 360 healthy adults will be dosed with four different experimental vaccines, broken up into two age groups, 18-55 and 65-85, with the younger group dosed first in order to establish the safety of the potential vaccines, or vaccine candidates.

The four different drugs each represent a "different combination of the mRNA format," the two companies noted in a press statement.

Volunteers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the NYU Grossman School of Medicine were the first to receive doses of the proposed vaccine, with safety data due out at the end of May.

The vaccine is also being tested in Germany as well, with volunteers having been dosed there last week.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of a successful clinical trial, Pfizer and BioNTech are gearing up for mass production of the vaccine BNT162, by the end of the year.

Pfizer said it hopes to be able to produce millions of doses of a successful vaccine by the end of 2020, ramping up to hundreds of millions in 2021.

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