Pfizer Gains On Deal To Supply 30 Million Coronavirus Vaccine Doses to U.K. Government, Positive Data From German Trial

Pfizer will supply at least 30 million doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine to the U.K. government, once it's approved, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson says 'we're not there yet' in terms of a global solution.

Pfizer Inc.  (PFE) - Get Report shares jumped higher Monday after the drugmaker reached a deal to sell 30 million doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine to the British government.

Pfizer, which is working on two candidates from its BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine program in collaboration with Germany's BioNTech Inc.  (BNTX) - Get Report,  will supply 30 million doses -- at an undisclosed price -- once its approved by regulators. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, said Monday that it would be an 'exaggeration" to suggest that a vaccine would be available by "this year or next ... We're not there yet".

“In the face of this global health crisis, Pfizer’s purpose – breakthroughs that change patients’ lives – has taken on an even greater urgency. Consequently, we’re harnessing our scientific expertise, and we’re marshaling our manufacturing resources to ensure that the vaccine would be available as soon as possible, if our clinical trials prove successful and regulatory approval is granted,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. 

“This agreement is a testament to our shared goal to have millions of doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 available before the end of the year," he added. "We would like to thank the U.K. government for its commitment and support in helping to protect the people of the United Kingdom from this deadly virus.”

Pfizer shares were marked 1.9% higher in early Monday trading following the announcement to change hands at $36.89 each, a move that would extend the stock's four-month gain to around 30%. BioNTech's U.S.-listed shares rose 6.5% to $90.80 each on the Nasdaq.

Pfizer also published data from a trial of its vaccines in Germany, which showed T-cell responses in participating patients, an early indicator of its potential to develop anitbody reactions. 

“It is encouraging that the data on BNT162b1 from the German study cohort are very much in line with what we have seen in the U.S. study cohort," said BioNtech CMO Ozlem Tureci. "The preliminary data indicate that our mRNA-based vaccine was able to stimulate antibody as well as T-cell responses at remarkably low dose levels."

"We believe both may play an important role in achieving effective clearance of a pathogen such as SARS-CoV-2,” he added.

Last week, Pfizer received 'fast track' designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its BNT162 vaccine candidates based on preliminary data from Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies earlier this month. Early data from the German trial of BNT162b1 are expected to be released in July, Pfizer said at the time.

Earlier this month, Pfizer said preliminary results of its coronavirus vaccine study that it said triggered a 'strong immune response' in human trials, an unveiled plans to to test the most promising of its four vaccine candidates on up to 30,000 participants in trials set for the United States and Europe.

No serious adverse effects were reported in the study, Pfizer said, which included testing of two BNT1162b1 doses on 24 healthy patient volunteers, but those treated showed higher levels of COVID-19 antibodies when compared to those infected by the disease.

If regulators ultimately approve the drug, Pfizer said, the two companies plan to manufacture up to 100 million doses by the end of the year, and "at least" another 1.2 billion by the end of 2021.