US drug giant Pfizer has said it should know by the end of October whether a Covid-19 vaccine it is developing is successful, and will submit it for approval immediately if that is the case.
Pfizer had enrolled 23,000 patients in vaccine tests as of Wednesday, its chief executive Albert Bourla said in an online briefing sponsored by drug industry group International Federation of Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers and Association.
Pfizer has already manufactured hundreds of thousands of doses of the vaccine candidate, including at a plant in Belgium, Mr Bourla added.
The US drugmaker is in the race to come up with a vaccine with its partner, Germany’s BioNTech.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has asked state public health officials to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine to high-risk groups as soon as late October, documents published by the agency showed on Wednesday.
Companies including Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer are seen as leading the race to develop a safe and effective vaccine for the respiratory illness.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca has signed a manufacturing deal with Albany Molecular Research to produce millions of doses of the British drugmaker’s experimental coronavirus vaccine annually.