Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is planning to significantly expand clinical trials of its novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine candidate by September, the company’s chief executive officer Albert Bourla told CNBC on Tuesday.
Pfizer Aims For October Approval
The pharmaceutical company is currently testing four different variations of its BNT 162 COVID-19 vaccine, as part of the phase one trials, Bourla said at the CNBC “Healthy Returns Virtual Summit.”
Pfizer is expecting to test up to 360 people in the trial, and if one or two vaccine versions signal progress, it will launch a wider study involving thousands of volunteers by September, according to Bourla.
The CEO added that the company would have conclusive data on which vaccine can move forward in June or July. “We are collecting data as we speak in real time so we know, we are monitoring the safety of the doses,” he told CNBC.
“If things go well, and we feel that the product is safe and efficacious, and the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] and EMA [European Medicines Agency] and other regulatory agencies feel the same, we will be able to deliver millions of doses in the October time frame,” he said at the CNBC virtual summit.
Why It Matters
Pfizer and BioNTech began the clinical trials of their vaccine in the United States last week and in Germany in late April.
There’s currently no approved prevention or cure for COVID-19. Vaccine candidates, including those of Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INO), are also currently undergoing clinical trials.
White House Coronavirus Task Force lead member Anthony Fauci on Tuesday in his testimony to the Senate warned that it can’t be said at the moment if any of the COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials will prove successful.
Pfizer shares closed 1.9% lower at $37.36 on Tuesday and dropped another 0.8% at $37.05 in the after-hours session.