Pfizer wants to expand human trials of coronavirus vaccine to thousands of people by September, CEO says

A logo for Pfizer is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, July 29, 2019.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Pfizer CEO and President Albert Bourla said on Tuesday that the company plans to expand human trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine to thousands of patients tested by September.

The US pharmaceutical giant, which works alongside German drug maker BioNTech, injected doses of its potential vaccine, BNT162, into the first human participants in the United States last week. The company said it hopes to test up to 360 people in the clinical trial.

Pfizer is currently testing four different vaccine variants, Bourla said at CNBC’s Healthy Returns Virtual Summit.

“We collect data as we speak in real time, so we know we are monitoring dose security,” said Bourla. Pfizer will have conclusive data on vaccine variations that will stand out in June or July, said Bourla.

If one or two variants indicate success, the company will step up trials, and then launch a large-scale large-scale study in September with thousands of participants if a vaccine works, he added.

“If things are going well, and we think the product is safe and effective, and the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] and EMA [European Medicines Agency] and other regulators think the same, we will be able to deliver millions of doses by October, “said Bourla.

The company plans to produce hundreds of millions of doses in 2021, he added.

There are no FDA-approved therapies to treat Covid-19, and drug manufacturers are rushing to produce a vaccine, which is expected to take at least 12-18 months. According to the World Health Organization, more than 100 vaccines were in development around the world as of April 30.

– CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.

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