Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 9
Pfizer and BioNTech on Monday announced that their COVID 19 vaccine candidate achieved success in the first interim analysis from phase 3 trials showing 90 per cent effectiveness in preventing the disease among the non-infected.
“Our vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90 pc effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis,” the companies said, of the success of their mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, against SARS-CoV-2.
The analysis was conducted on November 8, 2020 by an external, independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) from the Phase 3 clinical study.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO.
He said: “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”
After discussion with the FDA, the companies recently elected to drop the 32-case interim analysis and conduct the first interim analysis at a minimum of 62 cases. Upon the conclusion of those discussions, the evaluable case count reached 94.
The case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo indicates a vaccine efficacy rate above 90 pc, at 7 days after the second dose. This means that protection is achieved 28 days after the initiation of the vaccination, which consists of a 2-dose schedule.
As the study continues, the final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary.
The trial has not reported any serious safety concerns and the study will continue to collect additional safety and efficacy data as planned.
The data will be discussed with regulatory authorities worldwide, Pfizer said.
“The first interim analysis of our global Phase 3 study provides evidence that a vaccine may effectively prevent COVID-19. This is a victory for innovation, science and a global collaborative effort,” said Prof Ugur Sahin, BioNTech co-founder and CEO.
“When we embarked on this journey 10 months ago this is what we aspired to achieve. Especially today, while we are all in the midst of a second wave and many of us in lockdown, we appreciate even more how important this milestone is on our path towards ending this pandemic and for all of us to regain a sense of normality. We will continue to collect further data as the trial continues to enroll for a final analysis planned when a total of 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases have accrued. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to make this important achievement possible,” he said.
The Phase 3 clinical trial of BNT162b2 began on July 27 and has enrolled 43,538 participants to date, 38,955 of whom have received a second dose of the vaccine candidate as of November 8, 2020. Approximately 42% of global participants and 30% of US participants have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.