Pfizer and BioNTech Announce Omicron-Adapted COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates Demonstrate High Immune Response Against Omicron

NEW YORK  – Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced positive data evaluating the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of two Omicron-adapted COVID-19 vaccine candidates: one monovalent and the other bivalent, a combination of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and a vaccine candidate targeting the spike protein of the Omicron BA.1 variant of concern. Data from the Phase 2/3 trial found that a booster dose of both Omicron-adapted vaccine candidates elicited a substantially higher immune response against Omicron BA.1 as compared to the companies’ current COVID-19 vaccine. The robust immune response was seen across two investigational dose levels, 30 µg and 60 µg.

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“As we’ve said since the early days of the pandemic, we will follow the science and adapt our own approaches as needed to help address COVID-19 as the virus evolves,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer. “Based on these data, we believe we have two very strong Omicron-adapted candidates that elicit a substantially higher immune response against Omicron than we’ve seen to date. We look forward to discussing these data with the scientific community and health authorities so we may rapidly introduce an Omicron-adapted booster as soon as possible if authorized by regulators.”

“The data show the ability of our monovalent and bivalent Omicron-adapted vaccine candidates to significantly improve variant-specific antibody neutralization responses,” said Prof. Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. “Omicron has newly evolving sublineages that have outcompeted BA.1 and exhibit a trend of increasing potential for immune escape. We will therefore remain vigilant and are prepared to rapidly adapt our Omicron-adapted vaccine candidates to emerging sublineages if epidemiological and laboratory data suggest.”

The Omicron adapted vaccine candidates (30 µg and 60 µg) studied in the Phase 2/3 trial in 1,234 participants 56 years of age and older elicited substantially higher neutralizing antibody responses against Omicron BA.1 when compared to the companies’ current COVID-19 vaccine. The pre-specified criterion for superiority was measured by the ratio of neutralizing geometric mean titers (GMR) with the lower bound of the 95% confidence interval >1. The geometric mean ratios (GMRs) for the monovalent 30 µg and 60 µg vaccines compared to the current COVID-19 vaccine were 2.23 (95% CI: 1.65, 3.00) and 3.15 (95% CI: 2.38, 4.16), respectively. The GMRs for the bivalent 30 µg and 60 µg vaccines compared to the current COVID-19 vaccine were 1.56 (95% CI: 1.17, 2.08) and 1.97 (95% CI: 1.45, 2.68), respectively. The monovalent Omicron-adapted vaccine 30 µg and 60 µg achieved a lower bound 95% confidence interval for GMR of >1.5, consistent with the regulatory requirement of super superiority. Demonstration of superiority against Omicron and safety are regulatory requirements for potential emergency use authorization of a variant-adapted vaccine.

One month after administration, a booster dose of the Omicron-adapted monovalent candidates (30 µg and 60 µg) increased neutralizing geometric mean titers (GMT) against Omicron BA.1 13.5 and 19.6-fold above pre-booster dose levels, while a booster dose of the Omicron-adapted bivalent candidates conferred a 9.1 and 10.9-fold increase in neutralizing GMTs against Omicron BA.1. Both Omicron-adapted vaccine candidates were well-tolerated in participants who received one or the other Omicron-adapted vaccine.

In a SARS-CoV-2 live virus neutralization assay tested on sera from participants over 56 years of age and older, sera efficiently neutralized BA.4/BA.5 with titers approximately 3-fold lower than BA.1. Pfizer and BioNTech will continue to collect additional study data on Omicron BA.4/BA.5 over the coming weeks.

These results are being shared with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) in advance of upcoming discussions with the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on June 28 and with the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA) on June 30. The companies have also submitted additional data from their ongoing COVID-19 booster studies, including data on an additional dose of their current COVID-19 vaccine and Beta candidate, to further demonstrate the flexibility and potential benefit of mRNA-based vaccines.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which is based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology, was developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer. BioNTech is the Marketing Authorization Holder in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and other countries, and the holder of emergency use authorizations or equivalents in the United States (jointly with Pfizer) and other countries. Submissions to pursue regulatory approvals in those countries where emergency use authorizations or equivalent were initially granted are planned.

U.S. Indication & Authorized Use

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is FDA authorized under 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 6 months of age and older.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is FDA authorized to provide:

Primary Series

  • A 3-dose primary series to individuals 6 months through 4 years of age
  • a 2-dose primary series to individuals 5 years of age and older
  • a third primary series dose to individuals 5 years of age and older with certain kinds of immunocompromise

Booster Series

  • a single booster dose to individuals 5 through 11 years of age who have completed a primary series with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
  • a first booster dose to individuals 12 years of age and older who have completed a primary series with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA)
  • a first booster dose to individuals 18 years of age and older who have completed primary vaccination with a different authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. The booster schedule is based on the labeling information of the vaccine used for the primary series
  • a second booster dose to individuals 50 years of age and older who have received a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine
  • a second booster dose to individuals 12 years of age and older with certain kinds of immunocompromise and who have received a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine

COMIRNATY®INDICATION

COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) is a vaccine approved for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older.

  • COMIRNATY® is administered as a 2-dose primary series

COMIRNATY® AUTHORIZED USES

COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) is FDA authorized under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to provide:

Primary Series

  • a 2-dose primary series to individuals 12 through 15 years of age
  • a third primary series dose to individuals 12 years of age and older with certain kinds of immunocompromise

Booster Dose

  • a first booster dose to individuals 12 years of age and older who have completed a primary series with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or COMIRNATY®
  • a first booster dose to individuals 18 years of age and older who have completed primary vaccination with another authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. The booster schedule is based on the labeling information of the vaccine used for the primary series
  • a second booster dose to individuals 50 years of age and older who have received a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine
  • a second booster dose to individuals 12 years of age and older with certain kinds of immunocompromise and who have received a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine

Emergency Use Authorization

Emergency uses of the vaccine have not been approved or licensed by FDA, but have been authorized by FDA, under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) in either individuals 6 months of age and older. The emergency uses are 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.

INTERCHANGEABILITY

FDA-approved COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine FDA authorized for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for individuals 12 years of age and older can be used interchangeably by a vaccination provider when prepared according to their respective instructions for use.

The formulation of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine authorized for use in individuals 6 months through 4 years of age, 5 through 11 years of age, and 12 years of age and older are different and should therefore not be used interchangeably. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine authorized for use in children 5 through 11 years of age should not be used interchangeably with COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA).

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Tell your vaccination provider about all of the vaccine recipient’s medical conditions, including if the vaccine recipient:

  • has any allergies
  • has had myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) or pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart)
  • has a fever
  • has a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
  • is immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects the immune system
  • is pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
  • has received another COVID-19 vaccine
  • has ever fainted in association with an injection

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) may not protect all vaccine recipients

The vaccine recipient should not receive Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) if the vaccine recipient has had a severe allergic reaction to any of its ingredients or had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or COMIRNATY®

There is a remote chance that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to 1 hour after getting a dose of the vaccine. For this reason, your vaccination provider may ask you to stay at the place where the vaccine was administered for monitoring after vaccination. If the vaccine recipient experiences a severe allergic reaction, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital

Seek medical attention right away if the vaccine recipient has any of the following symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, a fast heartbeat, a bad rash all over the body, dizziness, and weakness
  • Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart)have occurred in some people who have received the vaccine, more commonly in males under 40 years of age than among females and older males. In most of these people, symptoms began within a few days following receipt of the second dose of the vaccine. The chance of having this occur is very low

Seek medical attention right away if the vaccine recipient has any of the following symptoms after receiving the vaccine, particularly during the 2 weeks after receiving a vaccine dose:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart
  • Fainting
  • Unusual and persistent irritability
  • Unusual and persistent poor feeding
  • Unusual and persistent fatigue or lack of energy
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Persistent pain in the abdomen
  • Unusual and persistent cool, pale skim

Fainting can happen after getting injectable vaccines, including Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA). Sometimes people who faint can fall and hurt themselves. For this reason, your vaccination provider may ask the vaccine recipient to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine

Some people with weakened immune systems may have reduced immune responses to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA)

Additional side effects include rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, injection site pain, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, fever, injection site swelling, injection site redness, nausea, feeling unwell, swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy), decreased appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, arm pain, and fainting in association with injection of the vaccine and irritability

These may not be all the possible side effects of the vaccine. Call the vaccination provider or healthcare provider about bothersome side effects or side effects that do not go away.

  • You should always ask your healthcare providers for medical advice about adverse events. Report vaccine side effects to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The VAERS toll-free number is 1‐800‐822‐7967 or report online to www.vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html. You can also report side effects to Pfizer Inc. at www.pfizersafetyreporting.com or by calling 1-800-438-1985

Click for Fact Sheets and Prescribing Information for individuals 5 years of age and older:

Recipients and Caregivers Fact Sheet (6 months through 4 years of age)
Recipients and Caregivers Fact Sheet (5 through 11 years of age)
Recipients and Caregivers Fact Sheet (12 years of age and older)
COMIRNATY® Full Prescribing Information (16 years of age and older), DILUTE BEFORE USE, Purple Cap
COMIRNATY® Full Prescribing Information (16 years of age and older), DO NOT DILUTE, Gray Cap
EUA Fact Sheet for Vaccination Providers (6 months through 4 years of age), DILUTE BEFORE USE, Maroon Cap
EUA Fact Sheet for Vaccination Providers (5 through 11 years of age), DILUTE BEFORE USE, Orange Cap
EUA Fact Sheet for Vaccination Providers (12 years of age and older), DILUTE BEFORE USE, Purple Cap
EUA Fact Sheet for Vaccination Providers (12 years of age and older), DO NOT DILUTE, Gray Cap