Pfizer CEO Albert Borla said Sunday that it is a “likely scenario” that the company’s coronavirus vaccine could be distributed to Americans before the new year if it proves to be safe and effective by federal regulators.
“I can’t say what the FDA will do, but I think it’s a possible scenario and we’re preparing for it,” Borla said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation”. “We have already started manufacturing and we have already manufactured hundreds of thousands of doses, so if we have a good study readout, adjudication, and the FDA, then the advisory committee also feels comfortable, that we Will be ready. ”
Although Borla said that Pfizer’s study suggests that “there’s a good chance we’ll know if the product works by the end of October,” adding that distribution before the end of the year is ultimately up to regulators like Food and Drug And when it comes down, the administration issues the license.
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Pfizer’s vaccine candidate, which is being developed in partnership with BioNotech, is moving forward for its Phase 3 trial and is expected to reach its initial enrollment target of 30,000 participants by next week.
The pharmaceutical giant has announced plans to expand its testing to about 44,000 participants and to include a more sensitive population, such as teens as young as 16 and HIV, such as Hepatitis C, to increase the diversity of those involved in the study. People with chronic stable conditions, or hepatitis B infection.
“I think we should strive for a more diverse population as much as possible, but right now we’re not really that bad. Our population is that globally, only 60% are Caucasian, 40% almost minority,” Borla said. “Also, 44% are older people. We try to increase this, especially the emphasis on African-Americans and Latino.”
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Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the White House has funded nearly $ 10 billion as part of its Operation Warp Speed initiative to accelerate the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, with at least six pharmaceutical companies a taxpayer Taking financially funded investments. However, Borla stated that he “turned down taxpayer money for the development of the vaccine in an effort to free our scientists from our bureaucracy.”
“When you get money from someone, it always comes with a wire,” the chief executive of Pfizer said. “They want to see how you’re progressing, what kind of moves you’re making, they want the report.” I don’t want any of that. Originally, I gave them an open checkbook, so that they could only worry about scientific challenges, nothing else. And at the same time, I wanted to keep Pfizer out of politics. ”
Although Borla acknowledged the possibility that Pfizer’s vaccine candidate might fail, he argued that he did not believe it would “break the company” despite investing at least $ 1.5 billion in the effort.
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The federal government announced in July that it had reached a $ 1.95 billion agreement with Pfizer and BioNotech for at least 100 million doses following FDA approval. Under the agreement, an additional 500 million doses could be acquired, and US citizens would receive the vaccine for free.
According to the latest update from Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 6.4 million confirmed coronovirus cases in the United States, with more than 193,000 deaths.