USA – Pfizer, BioNTech identify and advance lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate

Pfizer and BioNTech have identified the lead candidate in their COVID-19 vaccine programme to take forward into a large-scale phase 2/3 study.

The partners have identified the lead candidate, BNT162b2, from among four different candidates that were being evaluated in the programme.

Each candidate is mRNA-based; this type of technology is relatively new in the field of vaccine research, with a number of companies, including Moderna, developing mRNA candidates.

An mRNA vaccine tricks the body into producing some of the targeted viral proteins, which in turn can be detected by the immune system which begins to produce antibodies against them. Because the technology is so new,  there are currently no mRNA vaccines approved for any infectious disease.

At the beginning of July, Pfizer and BioNTech revealed early positive data from their vaccine programme, revealing that initial clinical data for another candidate, BNT162b1, demonstrated dose-dependent immunogenicity…