Pharma giant Pfizer (PFE) wants to expand human trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine to thousands of test patients by September, CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla told CNBC on Tuesday.
On May 5, Pfizer and BioNTech SE (BNTX) announced that the first participants have been dosed in the U.S. in the Phase 1/2 clinical trial for the BNT162 vaccine program to prevent Covid-19.
The first stage of the Phase 1/2 trial in the U.S. will enroll up to 360 healthy subjects in two age groups (18-55 and 65-85), with the younger group to receive the vaccine candidate first. The trial is part of a global development program, and the dosing of the first cohort in Germany was completed the previous week.
Pfizer and BioNTech’s development program includes four vaccine candidates, each representing a different combination of mRNA format and target antigen.
“We are collecting data as we speak in real time so we know, we are monitoring the safety of the doses,” Bourla said. He believes it should be possible to pinpoint the most promising vaccine candidate by June or July.
“If things go well, and we feel that the product is safe and efficacious, and the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] and EMA [European Medicines Agency] and other regulatory agencies feel the same, we will be able to deliver millions of doses in the October time frame,” Bourla said.
This could ramp up to hundreds of millions of doses in 2021, he said.
Overall, Wall Street analysts have a Moderate Buy consensus rating for Pfizer. Ratings are divided between 4 Buys and 3 Holds while the $42.22 average price target projects 13% upside potential for the drugmaker’s shares in the coming 12 months. (See Pfizer stock analysis on TipRanks). Shares are currently trading down 5% on a year-to-date basis.
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