Pfizer (PFE), BioNTech (BNTX) Initiate Study to Evaluate Omicron-Based COVID-19 Vaccine in Adults

January 25, 2022 6:45 AM EST

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Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced the initiation of a clinical study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of an Omicron-based vaccine candidate in healthy adults 18 through 55 years of age. The study will have three cohorts examining different regimens of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or an Omicron-based vaccine. The study will draw upon some participants from the companies’ Phase 3 COVID-19 booster study and is part of their ongoing efforts to address Omicron and determine the potential need for variant-based vaccines.

“While current research and real-world data show that boosters continue to provide a high level of protection against severe disease and hospitalization with Omicron, we recognize the need to be prepared in the event this protection wanes over time and to potentially help address Omicron and new variants in the future,” said Kathrin U. Jansen, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research & Development at Pfizer. “Staying vigilant against the virus requires us to identify new approaches for people to maintain a high level of protection, and we believe developing and investigating variant-based vaccines, like this one, are essential in our efforts to towards this goal.”

“Vaccines continue to offer strong protection against severe disease caused by Omicron. Yet, emerging data indicate vaccine-induced protection against infection and mild to moderate disease wanes more rapidly than was observed with prior strains,” said Prof. Ugur Sahin, CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. “This study is part of our science-based approach to develop a variant-based vaccine that achieves a similar level of protection against Omicron as it did with earlier variants but with longer duration of protection.”

The study will evaluate up to 1,420 participants across the three cohorts:

  • Cohort #1 (n = 615): Received two doses of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 90-180 days prior to enrollment; in the study, participants will receive one or two doses of the Omicron-based vaccine
  • Cohort #2 (n = 600): Received three doses of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 90-180 days prior to enrollment; in the study, participants will receive one dose of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or the Omicron-based vaccine
  • Cohort #3 (n=205): Vaccine-naïve participants will receive three doses of the Omicron-based vaccine

Clinical and real-world data continue to find people who are vaccinated, particularly those that have received a booster, maintain a high level of protection against Omicron, particularly against severe disease and hospitalization. The companies have previously announced that they expect to produce four billion doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in 2022, and this capacity is not expected to change if an adapted vaccine is required.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which is based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology, was developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer. BioNTech is the Marketing Authorization Holder in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and other countries, and the holder of emergency use authorizations or equivalents in the United States (jointly with Pfizer) and other countries. Submissions to pursue regulatory approvals in those countries where emergency use authorizations or equivalent were initially granted are planned.

U.S. Indication & Authorized Use
HOW IS THE VACCINE GIVEN?

The vaccine will be given as an injection into the muscle.

Primary Series:
In individuals 5 years of age and older, the vaccine is administered as a 2-dose series, 3 weeks apart. In individuals 5 years of age and older, a third primary series dose may be administered at least 28 days after the second dose to individuals who are determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise.

Booster Dose:

  • A single booster dose of the vaccine may be administered at least 5 months after completion of a primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) to individuals 12 years of age and older
  • A single booster dose of the vaccine may be administered to individuals 18 years of age and older who have completed primary vaccination with a different authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals should check with their healthcare provider regarding timing of the booster dose

WHAT IS THE INDICATION AND AUTHORIZED USE?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has received EUA from FDA to provide:

  • a 2-dose primary series to individuals 5 years of age and older
  • a third primary series dose to individuals 5 years of age and older who have been determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise
  • a single booster dose to individuals 12 years of age and older who have completed a primary series with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA)
  • a single booster dose to individuals 18 years of age and older who have completed primary vaccination with a different authorized COVID-19 vaccine. The booster schedule is based on the labeling information of the vaccine used for the primary series

COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) is an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer for BioNTech.

  • It is approved as a 2-dose series for prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older
  • It is also authorized under EUA to provide:
    • a 2-dose primary series to individuals 12 through 15 years of age
    • a third primary series dose to individuals 12 years of age and older who have been determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise
    • a single booster dose to individuals 12 years of age and older who have completed a primary series with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA)
    • a single booster dose to individuals 18 years of age and older who have completed primary vaccination with a different authorized COVID-19 vaccine. The booster schedule is based on the labeling information of the vaccine used for the primary series

EUA Statement
Emergency uses of the vaccine have not been approved or licensed by FDA, but have been authorized by FDA, under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in individuals 5 years of age and older. The emergency uses are only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of the medical product under Section 564(b)(1) of the FD&C Act unless the declaration is terminated or authorization revoked sooner. Please see EUA Fact Sheets at www.cvdvaccine-us.com.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Individuals should not get the vaccine if they:

  • had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
  • had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine

Individuals should tell the vaccination provider about all of their medical conditions, including if they:

  • have any allergies
  • have had myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) or pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart)
  • have a fever
  • have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
  • are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects the immune system
  • are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
  • have received another COVID-19 vaccine
  • have ever fainted in association with an injection

The vaccine may not protect everyone.

Side effects reported with the vaccine include:

  • There is a remote chance that the vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction
    • A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to 1 hour after getting a dose of the vaccine. For this reason, vaccination providers may ask individuals to stay at the place where they received the vaccine for monitoring after vaccination
    • Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, a fast heartbeat, a bad rash all over the body, dizziness, and weakness
    • If an individual experiences a severe allergic reaction, they should call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital
  • Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart) have occurred in some people who have received the vaccine, more commonly in males under 40 years of age than among females and older males. In most of these people, symptoms began within a few days following receipt of the second dose of the vaccine. The chance of having this occur is very low. Individuals should seek medical attention right away if they have any of the following symptoms after receiving the vaccine:
    • chest pain
    • shortness of breath
    • feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart
  • Additional side effects that have been reported with the vaccine include:
    • severe allergic reactions; non-severe allergic reactions such as rash, itching, hives, or swelling of the face; myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle); pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart); injection site pain; tiredness; headache; muscle pain; chills; joint pain; fever; injection site swelling; injection site redness; nausea; feeling unwell; swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy); decreased appetite; diarrhea; vomiting; arm pain; fainting in association with injection of the vaccine
  • These may not be all the possible side effects of the vaccine. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. The possible side effects of the vaccine are still being studied in clinical trials. Call the vaccination provider or healthcare provider about bothersome side effects or side effects that do not go away

Data on administration of this vaccine at the same time as other vaccines have not yet been submitted to FDA. Individuals considering receiving this vaccine with other vaccines, should discuss their options with their healthcare provider.

Patients should always ask their healthcare providers for medical advice about adverse events. Individuals are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visit https://www.vaers.hhs.gov or call 1-800-822-7967. In addition, side effects can be reported to Pfizer Inc. at www.pfizersafetyreporting.com or by calling 1-800-438-1985.

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Fact Sheets and Prescribing Information for individuals 12 years of age and older

Full Prescribing Information (16 years of age and older) DILUTE BEFORE USE, Purple Cap
Full Prescribing Information (16 years of age and older) DO NOT DILUTE, Gray Cap
EUA Fact Sheet for Vaccination Providers (12 years of age and older), Purple Cap
EUA Fact Sheet for Vaccination Providers (12 years of age and older), Gray Cap
Recipients and Caregivers Fact Sheet (12 years of age and older)

Fact Sheets for individuals 5 through 11 years of age

EUA Fact Sheet for Vaccination Providers (5 through 11 years of age), Orange Cap
Recipients and Caregivers Fact Sheet (5 through 11 years of age)



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