Pfizer, BioNTech CEOs diverge on COVID-19 vax timeline

July 10, 2020

In a July 7 interview with TIME, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said he believes that FDA approval for the drugmaker's experimental vaccine, being developed with its German biotech partner BioNTech, could come as soon as October.

BioNTech's CEO, Dr. Ugur Sahin is slightly less optimistic, telling the Wall Street Journal that the partners will be ready to seek regulatory approval by the end of the year.

The partners' are one of 17 companies across the globe that have started human trials on a vaccine against COVID-19. 

On July 1, Pfizer announced preliminary data from the most advanced of four investigational vaccine candidates from the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine program, Project Lightspeed. Pfizer's Bourla, according to TIME, is so convinced of the vaccine's potential that he has decided Pfizer will start producing the vaccine before receiving approval from the FDA.

Pfizer is set to launch a large-scale clinical trial later in July, which will involve 30,000 people at 150 locations by the end of the test period.