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Pfizer and BioNTech Granted FDA Fast Track Designation for mRNA-Based COVID-19 Vaccines

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 14 Jul 2020
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The FDA has granted fast track designation to two of the four investigational vaccine candidates from the BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine program (BNT162b1 and BNT162b2) being jointly developed by Pfizer Inc. (New York, NY, USA) and Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech Mainz, Germany).

The BNT162 program is evaluating at least four experimental vaccines, each of which represent a unique combination of messenger RNA (mRNA) format and target antigen. BNT162b1 and BNT162b2 are the two most advanced vaccine candidates in the BNT162 program currently being evaluated in ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical studies in the US and Germany. BNT162b1 and BNT162b2 are both nucleoside modified RNAs, formulated in lipid nanoparticles. BNT162b1 encodes an optimized SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) antigen, while BNT162b2 encodes an optimized SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein antigen.

The fast track designation was granted by the FDA based on preliminary data from Phase 1/2 studies that are currently ongoing in the US and Germany as well as animal immunogenicity studies. The companies had released early data from the ongoing US Phase 1/2 study for the product candidate BNT162b1 on July 1, 2020.

“The FDA’s decision to grant these two COVID-19 vaccine candidates Fast Track designation signifies an important milestone in the efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2,” said Peter Honig, Senior Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs, Pfizer. “We look forward to continue working closely with the FDA throughout the clinical development of this program, Project Lightspeed, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of these vaccine candidates.”

“We are pleased to have received Fast Track designation from the FDA for two of our vaccine candidates and look forward to working closely with the FDA, along with our partner Pfizer, to expedite the clinical development path forward,” said Özlem Türeci, Chief Medical Officer at BioNTech.

Related Links:
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