Pfizer Inc. and its German partner, BioNTech SE will submit a request today to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of their mRNA vaccine candidate, BNT162b2 against SARS-CoV-2, which will potentially enable the use of the vaccine in high-risk populations in the U.S. by the middle to end of December 2020.
The action comes days after Pfizer Inc. announced appears 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large, ongoing study.
The companies said that protection plus a good safety record means the vaccine should qualify for emergency use authorization, something the Food and Drug Administration can grant before the final testing is fully complete. In addition to Friday’s FDA submission, they have already started “rolling” applications in Europe and the U.K. and intend to submit similar information soon.
“Our work to deliver a safe and effective vaccine has never been more urgent, as we continue to see an alarming rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 globally. Filing in the U.S. represents a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world and we now have a more complete picture of both the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine, giving us confidence in its potential,” said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO in a statement to the press. “We look forward to the upcoming Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee discussion and continue to work closely with the FDA and regulatory authorities worldwide to secure authorization of our vaccine candidate as quickly as possible.”
According to today’s statement, while Pfizer and BioNTech await potential authorization or approval from regulatory agencies, the companies continue to work in collaboration with governments and Ministries of Health around the world that will distribute the vaccine, subject to authorization or approval, to help ensure it can reach those most in need as quickly as possible.