- Competitors catch up with Moderna, who has been leading the race for a coronavirus vaccine for months.
- The New York pharmaceutical company Pfizer published early results for its vaccine candidate on Wednesday.
- Pfizer uses the same vaccine technology called messenger RNA as Moderna.
- Pfizer, a $ 190 billion pharmaceutical company, is also planning to launch late-stage efficacy studies this month. This corresponds to Moderna’s development schedule.
- The stock market seemed to reflect this changing dynamic on Wednesday. At Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, share prices rose 5% and 7%, while Moderna shares fell 6%.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
In the first months of the outbreak of the coronavirus, Moderna was alone.
Emerging biotechnology has been a leader in Massachusetts from the start of the vaccine sprint. On January 23, she announced her plans to develop a vaccine with researchers from the US National Institutes of Health.
Moderna was the first company to begin testing an experimental human shot in March, and the first to detail human results a few months later. It consolidated its frontrunner status by building a vaccine in record time with an unproven but promising technology called messenger RNA.
Investors pushed their shares to record highs. Although Moderna has no state-approved drugs or vaccines, its value has risen to $ 23 billion, and its stock has tripled since the beginning of the year.
Continue reading: The untold story of Moderna as a coronavirus vaccine in biotechnology faces a test that could make it one of the most serious startups ever
But the landscape changed dramatically six months after the eruption. According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 1
On Wednesday, Pfizer showed how intense the race for a vaccine got and explained the early human results of its own vaccine candidate.
The New York pharmaceutical company announced its research plans the same week that Moderna dosed its first volunteers in March. With the resources of a $ 190 billion pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer has caught up with Moderna.
The stock market seemed to reflect this changing dynamic on Wednesday. At Pfizer and BioNTech, share prices rose 4% and 2.4%, while Moderna shares fell 5%.
Pfizer and Moderna have equally fast development times for vaccines with the same technology
Pfizer has partnered with BioNTech, a German biotechnology company specializing in mRNA, to develop a vaccine that uses the same technology as Moderna.
The schedules for the two vaccination programs are now essentially the same. Both Pfizer and Moderna hope to begin late-stage studies this month that will test the vaccines on thousands of volunteers to see if they work. In this case, companies have announced that their vaccines could be available in limited quantities in the fall for emergencies.
Continue reading: A leading potential coronavirus vaccine has just started human trials in the United States. Pfizer’s top scientist told us it could be ready for an emergency this fall.
In a way, Pfizer is ahead of biotechnology. Moderna gave a brief description of its data in May, opening criticism of the “publication by press release”. While CEO Stephane Bancel said the data will soon be released by NIH, it hasn’t happened yet.
The publication of Pfizer was accompanied by a scientific article, which has yet to be reviewed by other scientists or published in a journal.
Given the limited data released, Pfizer’s vaccine could be “more effective” than Moderna’s vaccine candidate, SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges said in a message to investors on Wednesday. He said that, given the tentative nature of the early data, it is difficult to draw conclusions.
Jefferies analyst Michael Yee also said that Pfizer’s results are “consistent and at least as good (or higher)” than Moderna’s description.
Continue reading: Pfizer has partnered with tiny biotechnology to make a coronavirus vaccine, and we’ve just glanced at some promising but early data
To be clear, it is far from certain that every vaccine will work. These early-stage tests are designed to measure whether the vaccines are safe for humans and whether they trigger a response from the body’s immune system. Vaccines require extensive testing to determine if they can prevent infections or diseases.
To be sure, company executives in the vaccine race stressed that more than one vaccine is needed. Any successful effort is expected to face global demand that exceeds supply.
AstraZeneca, another pharmaceutical company that overshadows Moderna, is also working on a vaccine and hopes to have one ready for emergencies in the fall.
Could there be a new leader in the vaccination sprint?
The next challenge for Pfizer and Moderna is to take up to 30,000 people in massive clinical trials starting this month.
To quickly attract so many volunteers, companies need to work with dozens, if not hundreds, of test sites around the world.
Pfizer appears to have an advantage in this area. As one of the largest vaccine manufacturers, it is nothing new for Pfizer to do the logistics of a major global trial. At a Wednesday meeting with investors, Pfizer’s vaccine research and development manager, Kathrin Jansen, estimated that it could only take four weeks for a late stage study to be fully completed.
Moderna, on the other hand, plunges into unknown waters. Since its inception in 2010, the company has not included drugs in a phase three study.
Both companies are partnering with the U.S. government on Operation Warp Speed, an initiative to provide 300 million doses of a safe and effective vaccine by January. It remains unclear how much support this program will bring to late-stage studies.