- The evaluation is part of the Phase 1/2/3 trial and will study a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, at 30 µg that will be given to Phase 1 participants to evaluate the safety and tolerability of a booster vaccine
- Discussions with regulatory authorities are ongoing regarding an additional registration-enabling study using an mRNA vaccine with a variant sequence; this would provide a flexible solution for rapidly adapting the vaccine for use against the B.1.351 lineage or other new strains that may emerge as possible immune escape virus variants
- Based on in-vitro studies conducted to date and observations from real world evidence, the Companies have not observed changes to neutralizing antibody levels that would predict a significant reduction in protection provided by two doses of BNT162b2
NEW YORK & MAINZ, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) announced today they have begun an evaluation of the safety and immunogenicity of a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162b2) to understand the effect of a booster on immunity against COVID-19 caused by the circulating and potential newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. The study will draw upon participants from the Phase 1 study in the United States who will be offered the opportunity to receive a 30 µg booster of the current vaccine 6 to 12 months after receiving their initial two-dose regimen. The study is part of the Companies’ clinical development strategy to determine the effectiveness of a third dose against evolving variants.
Separately, in order to be prepared for any potential future strain changes, Pfizer and BioNTech are in ongoing discussions with regulatory authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency, regarding a registration-enabling clinical study to evaluate a variant-specific vaccine having a modified mRNA sequence. This study would use a new construct of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine based on the B.1.351 lineage, first identified in South Africa. This could position the Companies to update the current vaccine quickly if the need arises to protect against COVID-19 from circulating strains. In alignment with the updated guidance issued by the FDA regarding emergency use of vaccines to prevent COVID-19 which provides recommendations for evaluatinga modified vaccine to address variants, the Companies are hoping to pursue the validation of future modified mRNA vaccines with a regulatory pathway similar to what is currently in place for flu vaccines.
“While we have not seen any evidence that the circulating variants result in a loss of protection provided by our vaccine, we are taking multiple steps to act decisively and be ready in case a strain becomes resistant to the protection afforded by the vaccine. This booster study is critical to understanding the safety of a third dose and immunity against circulating strains,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer. “At the same time, we are making the right investments and engaging in the appropriate conversations with regulators to help position us to potentially develop and seek authorization for an updated mRNA vaccine or booster if needed.”
“Our proactive clinical development strategy aims to create the foundation today, that will enable us to address the challenges of tomorrow. We want to be prepared for different scenarios,” said Ugur Sahin, CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. “Therefore, we will be evaluating a second booster in the current regimen as well as preparing for a potential rapid adaption of the vaccine to address new variants which might escape the current version of our mRNA-based vaccine. The flexibility of our proprietary mRNA vaccine platform allows us to technically develop booster vaccines within weeks, if needed. This regulatory pathway is already established for other infectious diseases like influenza. We take these steps in order to ensure a long-term immunity against the virus and its variants.”
Administering a third dose will provide an early assessment of the safety of a third dose of BNT162b2, as well as its immunogenicity. This study will evaluate up to 144 Phase 1 participants in two age cohorts, 18-55 and 65-85 years of age. The study will include trial participants who received the two doses in the Phase 1 study 6 to 12 months ago in order to assess the boostability of BNT162b2. Thus, the study will evaluate the safety and tolerability of a third vaccination irrespective of the level of antibody titers of the trial participant. Participants will be assessed at the time they receive the third dose, then one week and one month after, and Pfizer and BioNTech plan to study the ability of the sera from those participants to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 strains of interest. The participants will continue being followed in the study for up to 2 years as originally planned.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for use in individuals 16 years of age and older. The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of the medical product under Section 564 (b) (1) of the FD&C Act unless the declaration is terminated or authorization revoked sooner. Please see Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers) including Full EUA Prescribing Information available at www.cvdvaccine.com.
The vaccine, which is based on BioNTech proprietary mRNA technology, was developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer. BioNTech is the Marketing Authorizations Holder in the European Union, and the holder of emergency use authorizations or equivalent in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and other countries in advance of a planned application for full marketing authorizations in these countries.
AUTHORIZED USE IN THE U.S.:
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is authorized for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FROM U.S. FDA EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION PRESCRIBING INFORMATION:
- Do not administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to individuals with known history of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
- Appropriate medical treatment used to manage immediate allergic reactions must be immediately available in the event an acute anaphylactic reaction occurs following administration of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
- Monitor Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine recipients for the occurrence of immediate adverse reactions according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/)
- Immunocompromised persons, including individuals receiving immunosuppressant therapy, may have a diminished immune response to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
- The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may not protect all vaccine recipients
- In clinical studies, adverse reactions in participants 16 years of age and older included pain at the injection site (84.1%), fatigue (62.9%), headache (55.1%), muscle pain (38.3%), chills (31.9%), joint pain (23.6%), fever (14.2%), injection site swelling (10.5%), injection site redness (9.5%), nausea (1.1%), malaise (0.5%), and lymphadenopathy (0.3%)
- Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, have been reported following the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine during mass vaccination outside of clinical trials. Additional adverse reactions, some of which may be serious, may become apparent with more widespread use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
- Available data on Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine administered to pregnant women are insufficient to inform vaccine-associated risks in pregnancy
- Data are not available to assess the effects of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine on the breastfed infant or on milk production/excretion
- There are no data available on the interchangeability of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine with other COVID-19 vaccines to complete the vaccination series. Individuals who have received one dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine should receive a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to complete the vaccination series
- Vaccination providers must report Adverse Events in accordance with the Fact Sheet to VAERS at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html or by calling 1-800-822-7967. The reports should include the words “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA” in the description section of the report
- Vaccination providers should review the Fact Sheet for Information to Provide to Vaccine Recipients/Caregivers and Mandatory Requirements for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Under Emergency Use Authorization
- Please see Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers) including Full EUA Prescribing Information available at www.cvdvaccine-us.com