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UK agrees further COVID-19 vaccine deals with Pfizer/BioNTech, Valneva

Government has already agreed similar deal with AstraZeneca

Coronavirus vaccine

The UK government has forged partnerships with Pfizer/BioNTech and Valneva for early access to their respective COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

The agreement secured early access to 90 million doses of the promising vaccines for use in the UK, as development for the candidates progresses into later-stage clinical trials. The UK government has already signed a deal with AstraZeneca to aid the research, development and manufacture of a vaccine discovered and developed by the University of Oxford. As part of that deal, AZ will manufacture a total of 100 million doses of the vaccine for the UK.

Pfizer and BioNTech will supply 30 million doses of their mRNA-based vaccine candidate while Valneva is set to provide up to 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. The partnership with Valneva, which has a factory in Livingston, Scotland, will increase manufacturing capacity and help to protect priority groups against COVID-19, including frontline health and social care workers and those at increased health risk.

Valneva is developing an inactivated whole virus vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, using its manufacturing technology for its Japanese encephalitis vaccine Ixiaro. According to the company, the vaccine is expected to begin clinical studies by the end of the year and potentially reach regulatory approval by the second half of 2021.

Pfizer/BioNTech’s BNT162 vaccine programme includes a number of candidates currently undergoing clinical studies, with promising preliminary data from its most advanced vaccine, BNT162b1, released earlier this month.

The early data demonstrate that BNT162b1 can produce neutralising antibodies in participants at or above the levels seen in the plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, even at relatively low dose levels.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has fast-tracked two of the partners’ vaccine candidates, including BNT162b1 and BNT162b2. Pfizer and BioNTech expect to seek conditional marketing authorisation or a form of regulatory approval by as early as October, if all goes to plan in the ongoing studies.

“The hunt to find a vaccine is a truly global endeavour and we are doing everything we can to ensure the British public get access to a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible,” said Business Secretary Alok Sharma.

“This new partnership with some of the world’s foremost pharmaceutical and vaccine companies will ensure the UK has the best chance possible of securing a vaccine that protects those most at risk,” he added.

The UK government has also launched a new website, the NHS COVID-19 vaccine research registry, to allow members of the public to register interest and be contacted to participate in clinical studies.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

20th July 2020

From: Healthcare



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