The US government has ordered Pfizer Inc and German biotech firm BioNTech SE to to produce and deliver 100 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate for $1.95 billion, Reuters reported. Pfizer will deliver the doses if the covid vaccine receives emergency use authorization or licensure from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, after completing demonstration of safety and efficacy in a large Phase 3 clinical trial.
The US government will also have to right to acquire an additional 500 million doses under the agreement.
The vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has shown promise in early-stage small studies in humans.
Unlike rivals Moderna and AstraZeneca, Pfizer has not received funding from the United States for its vaccine development.
AstraZeneca said its vaccine would be provided at no profit under its agreement with the United States for allocation of some 300 million doses.
More than 150 coronavirus vaccines using a variety of technologies are in development globally, with some two dozen already in human trials.
Meanwhile, a Chinese-made vaccine against the new coronavirus entered the final stage of testing on Tuesday in Brazil, the third in the world to enter Phase 3 clinical trials, or large-scale testing on humans — the last step before regulatory approval. The vaccine has been developed by private Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech.
Brazil is also helping carry out Phase 3 testing of another experimental vaccine, developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca. (With Agency Inputs)