Pfizer mulls BioNTech partnership for COVID-19 vax

March 6, 2020

Pfizer is exploring a collaboration with German drugmaker BioNTech to develop vaccines for the coronavirus using BioNTech’s mRNA-based drug development platform.

In an interview with Reuters, Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten, who recently attended a meeting with U.S. President Trump to discuss possible treatments, said that Pfizer already collaborates with BioNTech on the development of mRNA-based vaccines for influenza and now a partnership to find a COVID-19 vaccine is also on the table. Pfizer is also in the process of developing an anti-viral therapy to treat patients infected with the the coronavirus.

The potential mRNA-based vaccine would use synthetic messenger RNA to help the body immunize itself against the virus. mRNA-based vaccines generally can be developed and manufactured faster than traditional vaccines.

Moderna announced in late February that it has become the first pharma company with a coronavirus vaccine ready for human trials — also an mRNA-based therapy.

Read the Reuters report