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BioNTech Begins Phase 1 Trial of mRNA-based COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate with Fosun Pharma in China

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 06 Aug 2020
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Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech Mainz, Germany) and Fosun Pharma (Shanghai, China) have initiated a Phase 1 study to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of their mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Chinese participants to support potential regulatory approval pathway in China.

BioNTech and Fosun Pharma are jointly developing the COVID-19 vaccine candidate in China. The trial is part of BioNTech’s global development program aimed at supporting a global supply upon regulatory approval. The companies have already dosed the first 72 participants with BNT162b1 following IND approval by the Chinese regulatory authority, National Medical Products Administration (NMPA).

Following on from the ongoing Phase 1/2 studies in Germany and the US, the Chinese study will initially evaluate nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) candidate BNT162b1, one of two vaccine candidates based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology to have received FDA Fast Track designation in the US. The study is designed to support the regulatory approval process for the Chinese market and intends to confirm that the safety and immunogenicity profile observed in participants from the German and US trials is comparable to that of Chinese participants.

The randomized, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded Phase 1 clinical trial in China will enroll 144 healthy subjects to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine as well as to confirm dose selection. The first group of subjects immunized in Stage 1 of the study will be healthy adults aged 18 to 55 years, followed by elderly healthy participants (>55 years). As part of the two-dose cohort design, subjects will receive two injections (prime-boost), 21 days apart, of 10µg or 30µg of the vaccine candidate or placebo. The dose range selection was determined based on early data from clinical trials conducted in Germany and the US. The ongoing clinical studies conducted in Germany and the US will continue to support studies in China.

“We are proud to be among the first international biopharmaceutical companies to initiate a clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate in China as part of our effort to make our vaccine available globally, if approved. This is an important step toward our goal to reach marketing authorization and ensure vaccine supply in China to help prevent new COVID-19 outbreaks in the most populous country in the world,” said CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin.

“Dosing the first Chinese subject with BNT162b1 marks a milestone of the global co-development program in China. We are closely working with BioNTech and regulatory authorities to evaluate the safety and efficacy of BNT162b1 and other mRNA vaccine candidates, in order to synchronize the development process in China with other countries, and to bring the vaccine to public as soon as possible, if the vaccine succeeds,” added Ai-Min Hui, President of Global R&D, and Chief Medical Officer of Fosun Pharma.

Related Links:
Biopharmaceutical New Technologies
Fosun Pharma

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