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Pfizer (PFE) Progressing Well With its Coronavirus Program

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Zacks Equity Research
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Pfizer PFE is collaborating with other pharma/biotech companies as well as government agencies and academic institutions to develop different types of therapies against coronavirus infection, COVID-19.

The company is developing an mRNA-based vaccine, antiviral compounds and a JAK inhibitor to fight COVID-19.

Last month, the company signed a deal with BioNTech BNTX to jointly develop the latter’s mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162, to prevent the COVID-19 infection. The collaboration aims to accelerate the global development of BNT162, leveraging the expertise and resources of both companies. BNT162 is expected to enter clinical testing by the end of this month. Both companies planned to initially develop the vaccine in the United States and Europe, and scale-up manufacturing capacity to support global supply. Per the deal, BioNTech will receive an upfront payment of $185 million, including approximately $113 million in equity investment. BioNTech is also eligible to receive future milestone payments of up to $563 million.

Pfizer said they have potential to supply millions of vaccine doses by the end of 2020 if they receive the necessary regulatory approvals. Thereafter, they can rapidly scale up capacity to produce hundreds of millions of doses in 2021.

Pfizer is also screening antiviral compounds and has confirmed a lead compound based on the results of initial screening assays. The company plans to start a potential clinical study of the lead molecule in the third quarter of 2020. It is also evaluating azithromycin for its antiviral properties.

Moreover, an independent, investigator-initiated phase II study is being planned to evaluate Pfizer’s JAK inhibitor, tofacitinib, in patients with SARS-CoV-2 interstitial pneumonia in Italy later this week. The company is in discussions with other institutions about additional studies involving tofacitinib and potentially other immune modulators in its portfolio to mitigate systemic and alveolar inflammation in patients with COVID-19-related pneumonia.

Pfizer’s shares have lost 9.7% so far this year compared with the industry’s decline of 6.6%.

Please note that several pharma/biotech companies are engaged in developing vaccines or treatments for the coronavirus infection. Moderna MRNA is another company developing an mRNA-based vaccine for COVID-19. The candidate is in clinical-stage development.Translate Bio is also planning to co-develop an mRNA-based vaccine in collaboration with Sanofi SNY. Pharma giant, J&J has announced plans to initiate a clinical study to evaluate its potential coronavirus vaccine candidate in September.

Apart from vaccines, a few other companies are developing drugs or testing their marketed drugs in studies to treat COVID-19. These include Gilead’s antiviral candidate, remdesivir; Roche’s rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”) drug, Actemra; and Regeneron/Sanofi’s RA drug, Kevzara. While Actemra is being evaluated for severe COVID-19 pneumonia, Kevzara is being evaluated in patients hospitalized with severe infection due to COVID-19.

Pfizer Inc. Price


Pfizer Inc. Price
Pfizer Inc. Price

Pfizer Inc. price | Pfizer Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank

Pfizer currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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