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Fosun-Pfizer Could Complete COVID-19 Vaccine Trials in October

publication date: Sep 15, 2020
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD

The Fosun Pharma (SHA: 600196; HK: 2196) mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 could complete its Phase III trials in October, according to Aimin Hui, President of Global R&D at Fosun. Earlier this year, Fosun acquired China rights to the vaccine from BioNTech of Germany in a $135 million deal. Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), which owns US rights to the vaccine, is conducting a Phase III trial of BNT162b2 that has already enrolled over 25,000 subjects. Fosun will stage a China bridging trial of the vaccine in China subjects and then conduct a China arm of the global Phase III trial.

The vaccine could be available this winter, Dr. Hui said in a press report. He added that the vaccine's mRNA technology gives it several advantages: "It takes less time to develop an mRNA vaccine which means one can get a vaccine design as quick as several days and produce a vaccine candidate for tests as soon as four to six weeks after obtaining the gene sequence of the virus," he said. 

In addition, the mRNA vaccine can trigger double immune responses - humoral and T cell responses - to provide better protection against the virus, and unlike the usual vaccine mechanism, it does not contain any components of the virus, which is an important safety consideration.  

Dr. Hui also pointed out that the coronavirus seems to mutate at lower rates than other virus families, such as seasonal flu and HIV/AIDS. Further, the majority of mutations detected thus far in SARS-CoV-2 are located outside of the Spike protein. The Spike protein is critical for SARS-CoV-2 to enter host cells, and it is the target for most vaccines. 

BioNTech and Pfizer jointly announced in August that, if the vaccine is approved, up to 100 million doses would be produced by the end of 2020 and approximately 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. Fosun will file for China approval to manufacture additional supplies of the vaccine.

See our other articles on Fosun, BioNTech and Pfizer.

Disclosure: none.




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