Novartis | January 19, 2021
Novartis plunked down up to $2.2 billion for BeiGene's China-approved PD-1 drug tislelizumab to complement its own checkpoint inhibitor. Hear what BeiGene CEO John Oyler has to say about tislelizumab's position in and outside China. Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine reported confusing data from Brazil, raising doubt about its true efficacy. Celltron's anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody improved patients' outcomes in a phase 2/3 trial. And more.
Novartis paid $650 million upfront and committed up to $1.55 billion in milestones to license certain rights to BeiGene’s PD-1 inhibitor tislelizumab in major markets outside China. The Swiss pharma is not abandoning its own checkpoint inhibitor spartalizumab despite a recent phase 3 trial failure; instead, it views the two PD-1s as “complementary.”
BeiGene retains the right to co-market tislelizumab in North America. The Novartis deal gives the Chinese biotech a chance to get help “learning how to commercialize and build some capabilities” beyond China, BeiGene CEO John Oyler said in an interview. He believes the drug could compete in Asian-prevalent cancer types and its value in large indications will show over time. The CEO also believes the PD-1/L1 class has reached a pricing sweet spot in China where additional major price cuts aren’t likely.
Brazilian researchers first said Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine, CoronaVac, was 78% effective in a local phase 3 trial. But then, a few days ago, they released new data of just 50.4% efficacy. The gap was caused by the omission of “very mild” infections in the previous data. The misstep led to criticism of the trial organization, Brazil’s Butantan biomedical center, as well as suspicion about CoronaVac’s true efficacy. Turkey just authorized the shot for emergency use based on a reported 91.25% efficacy in an interim analysis of its local trial.
Pfizer | August 17, 2021
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE today announced that they have submitted Phase 1 data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support the evaluation of a third, or booster, dose of the companies’ COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162b2) for future licensure. These data also will be submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other regulatory authorities in the coming weeks.
“The data we’ve seen to date suggest a third dose of our vaccine elicits antibody levels that significantly exceed those seen after the two-dose primary schedule. We are pleased to submit these data to the FDA as we continue working together to address the evolving challenges of this pandemic.”
“Vaccination is our most effective means of preventing COVID-19 infection – especially severe disease and hospitalization – and its profound impact on protecting lives is indisputable. Still, with the continuing threat of the Delta variant and possible emergence of other variants in the future, we must remain vigilant against this highly contagious virus,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer. “The data we’ve seen to date suggest a third dose of our vaccine elicits antibody levels that significantly exceed those seen after the two-dose primary schedule. We are pleased to submit these data to the FDA as we continue working together to address the evolving challenges of this pandemic.”
“We continuously strive to stay at least one step ahead of the virus. This is why we aim to expand access to our vaccine for people around the world and are working on various approaches as part of our comprehensive strategy to address the virus and its variants today as well as in the future,” said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. “This initial data indicate that we may preserve and even exceed the high levels of protection against the wild-type virus and relevant variants using a third dose of our vaccine. A booster vaccine could help reduce infection and disease rates in people who have previously been vaccinated and better control the spread of virus variants during the coming season.”
Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted Phase 1 data – part of their Phase 1/2/3 clinical trial program – evaluating the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in U.S. adult participants from the Phase 1 trial of the two-dose series. Participants received a 30-µg booster dose of BNT162b2 8 to 9 months after receiving the second dose. Results from this participant group show that the third dose elicited significantly higher neutralizing antibodies against the initial SARS-CoV-2 virus (wild type) compared to the levels observed after the two-dose primary series, as well as against the Beta variant and the highly infectious Delta variant.
Phase 3 results evaluating the third dose are expected shortly and will be submitted to the FDA, the EMA and other regulatory authorities worldwide. In the U.S., Pfizer and BioNTech plan to seek licensure of the third dose via a supplemental Biologics License Application (BLA) in individuals 16 years of age and older, pending FDA approval of the primary BLA submitted in May 2021.
A third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is not currently authorized for broad use in the U.S. However, under the current amended Emergency Use Authorization, a third dose was authorized on August 12 for administration to individuals at least 12 years of age who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise. This authorization is based on information from an independent report evaluating safety and effectiveness of a third dose in people who received solid organ transplants.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which is based on BioNTech proprietary mRNA technology, was developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer. BioNTech is the Marketing Authorization Holder in the European Union, and the holder of emergency use authorizations or equivalent in the United States (jointly with Pfizer), Canada and other countries. Submissions to pursue regulatory approvals in those countries where emergency use authorizations or equivalent were initially granted are ongoing or planned.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) for use in individuals 12 years of age and older. The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of the medical product under Section 564 (b) (1) of the FD&C Act unless the declaration is terminated or authorization revoked sooner.
AUTHORIZED USE IN THE U.S.:
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID19 Vaccine is authorized for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 12 years of age and older.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Do not administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to individuals with known history of a severe allergic reaction (eg, anaphylaxis) to any component of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
Appropriate medical treatment used to manage immediate allergic reactions must be immediately available in the event an acute anaphylactic reaction occurs following administration of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
Monitor Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine recipients for the occurrence of immediate adverse reactions according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines
Reports of adverse events following use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under EUA suggest increased risks of myocarditis and pericarditis, particularly following the second dose. The decision to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to an individual with a history of myocarditis or pericarditis should take into account the individual’s clinical circumstances
Syncope (fainting) may occur in association with administration of injectable vaccines, in particular in adolescents. Procedures should be in place to avoid injury from fainting
Immunocompromised persons, including individuals receiving immunosuppressant therapy, may have a diminished immune response to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may not protect all vaccine recipients
In clinical studies, adverse reactions in participants 16 years of age and older included pain at the injection site (84.1%), fatigue (62.9%), headache (55.1%), muscle pain (38.3%), chills (31.9%), joint pain (23.6%), fever (14.2%), injection site swelling (10.5%), injection site redness (9.5%), nausea (1.1%), malaise (0.5%), and lymphadenopathy (0.3%)
In a clinical study, adverse reactions in adolescents 12 through 15 years of age included pain at the injection site (90.5%), fatigue (77.5%), headache (75.5%), chills (49.2%), muscle pain (42.2%), fever (24.3%), joint pain (20.2%), injection site swelling (9.2%), injection site redness (8.6%), lymphadenopathy (0.8%), and nausea (0.4%)
Following administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, the following have been reported outside of clinical trials:
severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, and other hypersensitivity reactions, diarrhea, vomiting, and pain in extremity (arm).
myocarditis and pericarditis
Additional adverse reactions, some of which may be serious, may become apparent with more widespread use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
Available data on Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine administered to pregnant women are insufficient to inform vaccine-associated risks in pregnancy
Data are not available to assess the effects of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine on the breastfed infant or on milk production/excretion
There are no data available on the interchangeability of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine with other COVID-19 vaccines to complete the vaccination series. Individuals who have received one dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine should receive a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to complete the vaccination series
Vaccination providers should review the Fact Sheet for Information to Provide to Vaccine Recipients/Caregivers and Mandatory Requirements for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Under Emergency Use Authorization.
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.
Fiercepharma | May 08, 2020
When there’s only one proven therapy for a global pandemic that’s infected millions—and a limited initial supply—how exactly should officials distribute it? So far, the U.S. government hasn't figured it out, reports say. When Gilead Sciences scored its groundbreaking FDA emergency use authorization for COVID-19 therapy remdesivir, the company made the unusual move of handing distribution rights to the federal government. But the rollout has gotten off to a rocky start, according to reports. The medicine—the only one so far to demonstrate positive controlled results against COVID-19—hasn’t gone to certain high-priority hospitals that needed it most, Axios reports. Instead, some remdesivir doses “went to the wrong places,” an unnamed senior Trump administration told the publication.