Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) announced the COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed with BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) was effective in over 90% of cases in the final phase of trials.
The pair will apply for emergency use authorisation in the US in the third week of November, once all safety data is available.
They currently expect to produce globally up to 50mln vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3bn doses in 2021.
An independent monitoring committee found that the jab, BNT162b2, prevented COVID-19 in over 90% of participants that had not been infected with the virus before.
The vaccine needs to be administered in two doses, meaning protection is achieved 28 days after the first one.
The committee did not report any serious safety concerns and recommends that the study continue to collect additional safety and efficacy data as planned.
mRNA is clever stuff, but it falls apart easily. It needs to be kept in the deep freeze until just before it is administered
This could prove a major hindrance in getting a vaccine to everyone – two separate doses, remember #Covid19
— Patrick Galey #BlackLivesMatter (@patrickgaley) November 9, 2020
The trial began in July and has enrolled 43,538 participants to date, 38,955 of whom have received a second dose of the vaccine candidate as of November 8.
The trial is continuing to add volunteers and is expected to continue through the final analysis when a total of 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases have accrued, while now the count has reached 94 which allowed for the interim analysis by the independent committee.
Around 42% of global participants and 30% of U.S. participants have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Markets on cloud nine
“Whilst we are not there yet, news that this vaccine could be highly effective is the best thing markets could hope for,” commented Neil Wilson at Markets.com.
“Public health officials will remind us there is a long road ahead, and many challenges will be faced along the way, but there is an enormous sense of optimism today – light at the end of the tunnel.”
The FTSE 100 gained a whopping 235 points to 6,219 driven by stocks in the most battered industries – British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG), engine maker Rolls Royce Holdings Plc (LON:RR.), caterer Compass Group plc (LON:CPG), hoteliers Whitbread PLC (LON:WTB) and InterContinental Hotels Group plc (LON:IHG).
US futures, already called higher after the likelihood of Joe Biden becoming the new President, shot up ahead of open, with the Dow Jones forecast to soar by 1,500 points and the S&P 500 to jump by 133 points.
Stars of the show Pfizer and BioNTech advanced 13% to US$41.27 and 23% to US$112.88 respectively.