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Pfizer-BioNTech reports strong immune response in animals to its COVID-19 vaccine

Published on 10/09/20 at 01:08pm
Photo by Md. Tareq Aziz Touhid

Pfizer-BioNTech announced Wednesday that preliminary preclinical data from mouse and macaque monkey models showed a strong immune response from its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. 

According to the data, the vaccine candidate conferred “protective anti-viral effects” in rhesus macaque monkeys, as well as concomitant high neutralising antibody titers and a TH1-biased cellular response in both the monkeys and in mice.

The rhesus macaque monkeys received 100µg of the vaccine via two injections and were found to have no trace of viral RNA in their lower respiratory tract 55 days after the second injection, whereas evidence of viral RNA was detected in the control group which received saline injections.

Furthermore, the vaccine was shown to have generated neutralising antibodies and viral antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the vaccinated monkeys, with geometric mean titers of 962 35 days after vaccination in those receiving 30µg of the vaccine.

“Collectively, these preclinical results, combined with our clinical data collected to date, continue to support the promise and validity of our mRNA-based vaccine program against SARS-CoV-2 and selection of the BNT162b2 candidate, which we believe has the potential to prevent many millions of COVID-19 cases,” said Dr Kathrin U Jansen, Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research & Development at Pfizer. “We are encouraged by the data thus far and confident in our progress towards developing a safe and effective vaccine candidate to help address this current pandemic.”

The study and the data are currently subject to peer review.

Conor Kavanagh

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