BioNTech executive suggests Pfizer coronavirus vaccine price depending on each country: Markets and the population are optimistic after Pfizer announced promising results of its coronavirus vaccine developed alongside biotech BioNTech.
Through a press release, the company has assured that its preliminary data suggest that the vaccine is 90% effective in preventing the spread.
While experts warn that it is early to really know the potential that the candidate has, it does seem that the Pfizer candidate is consolidating as the first one that could hit the market and questions are skyrocketing about when it will be available and at what price.
Salvador Illa, has assured that it has 20 million doses of the vaccine for our country and has confirmed that it will be distributed through the National Health System.
However, since the European Union has not yet closed the agreement with the company, it is unknown how much each dose will cost.
Scientists say Pfizer's vaccine results are good news, but they underline the questions that remain unanswered.
The head of strategy of the German BioNTech company, Ryan Richardson, has assured at an online event organized by the Financial Times, that the price of the vaccine will be below "typical market rates", although he will take into account the financial risks that his private sector investors have incurred, according to Reuters.
In that vein, Richardson has suggested that the price could be different between countries and regions, although he has not put a final figure to the label.
BioNTech executive suggests Pfizer coronavirus vaccine price
"We have tried to follow a balanced approach that recognizes that innovation requires capital and investment, so we plan to price our vaccine well below typical market rates, reflecting the situation we are in and aiming to ensure broad access around the world," said Richardson.
In the United States the pharmaceutical company would have closed an agreement with the United States that places the price per dose at 19,50 dollars (about 16,5 euros), according to the Financial Times.
The company has received considerable public capital backing to develop its candidate, but much smaller compared to other vaccines, especially American ones, which have been accelerated by Operation Warp Speed.
Europe, about to close the agreement with Pfizer to secure millions of doses of the vaccine after positive results on its effectiveness
Richard Hatchett, director general of the Coalition for the promotion of innovations for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), also spoke at the FT event to point out that the candidate was the only one among the top 10 vaccine projects that had not received "substantial funding from the public sector".
The research has received 100 million euros for the development and manufacture of the vaccine from the European Investment Bank and 375 million euros from the German government, also to accelerate production.
BioNTech executive suggests Pfizer coronavirus vaccine price
The unresolved questions and obstacles of Pfizer's vaccine against coronavirus
The week has started with the promising results of Pfizer's experimental coronavirus vaccine in the last phase of its clinical trial, showing 90% effectiveness in preventing covid-19 contagions.
The figure has surprised even the industry itself, which has always set efficiency expectations at a lower percentage.
Undoubtedly, the news represents a decisive step to curb the coronavirus pandemic at a time when the number of confirmed cases worldwide exceeds 50 million and has aroused optimism among the population and in the markets, which predict an economic recovery in 2021 thanks to the vaccine.
However, several experts have warned that the data communicated by Pfizer still do not allow to celebrate victory.
In fact, the company has communicated the promising results through a press release and not through a study in a scientific journal, something much criticized by industry experts who already warned against this type of communication when Moderna did the same.
"We need to see the real data and we need longer-term results," said Jesse Goodman, professor of Infectious Diseases at Georgetown University.
The company's statement "does not tell us at all what they have actually achieved," says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, as reported by Bloomberg. "It's too early to define what this new vaccine research shows us."
Experts consulted by the newspaper assure that the data do not reveal what kind of cases are being prevented or how the vaccine works in the elderly and other vulnerable groups.
William Haseltine, a biotech executive and infectious disease expert, has explained to Business Insider that the main problem is that the company's trial has been designed to see if there were fewer symptomatic COVID-19 cases in people who received the vaccine instead of the placebo.
This raises a crucial distinction that could have a big influence on the response to the pandemic: does this vaccine prevent both infection and disease?
These are the reasons why an expert warns that it is too early to celebrate the success of the Pfizer vaccine
Pfizer's trial and ongoing studies of other coronavirus vaccine developers are not regularly testing volunteers to measure asymptomatic infections. This may mean that vaccinated people could become asymptomatic carriers of the virus and unknowingly expand it.
"This point is important and I don't think most people appreciate it," Haseltine explains.
The expert has also raised the question of whether the vaccine reduces the severity of the disease and whether this affects the number of hospitalizations and deaths.
Again, the study's findings are limited by its primary goal, which does not distinguish between a mild COVID-19 patient and those who are seriously ill.
Finally, the Pfizer release also does not mention whether the vaccine can be effective in different subgroups such as older people, who are susceptible to the worst effects of the virus.
Professor of immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Edinburgh, Eleanor Riley, also says that it is necessary to know how serious the infections used in the trial were, and how old the participants were.