Pfizer and BioNTech Receive Positive CHMP Opinion for Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 Vaccine in the European Union
- Category: Vaccines
- Published on Thursday, 31 August 2023 11:02
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- The updated COVID-19 vaccine is tailored to the Omicron XBB.1.5 sublineage of SARS-CoV-2 and is recommended for individuals 6 months of age and older
- Recommendation based on pre-clinical data showing that the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted monovalent COVID-19 vaccine generates an improved response against multiple XBB-related sublineages, including XBB.1.5, XBB.1.16, XBB.2.3, and EG.5.1 (Eris), which continue to dominate globally1
- Doses will be ready to ship to applicable EU member states immediately upon authorization by the European Commission
NEW YORK, NY, USA & MAINZ, Germany I August 30, 2023 I Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended marketing authorization for the companies’ Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted monovalent COVID-19 vaccine (COMIRNATY® Omicron XBB.1.5) administered as a single dose for individuals 5 years of age and older, regardless of prior COVID-19 vaccination history. The Committee has also recommended the updated vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years of age as part or all of the primary three-dose vaccination series, depending on how many prior doses they received, or as single dose for those with a history of completion of a COVID-19 primary vaccination course or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The European Commission (EC) will review the CHMP’s recommendation and is expected to make a final decision soon. Following a decision from the EC, the updated vaccine will be ready to ship to applicable EU member states immediately. Pfizer and BioNTech have been manufacturing the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted monovalent COVID-19 vaccine at risk to ensure supply readiness ahead of the upcoming fall and winter season when the demand for COVID-19 vaccination is expected to increase.2
“This season’s vaccine is ready to ship as soon as the final regulatory decision is made, so that people across Europe can better help protect themselves against COVID-19 illness as the risk rises,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Pfizer. “It's been nearly a year since many citizens in the European Union were vaccinated against COVID-19 and the updated formulation provides the opportunity for them to receive a vaccine more closely matched to current sublineages."
“As COVID-19 is expected to adopt a seasonal pattern, similar to other respiratory viruses, we remain committed to providing COVID-19 vaccines that are better matched to relevant circulating variants or sublineages to people worldwide, to support vaccinations in the upcoming fall and winter season,” said Prof. Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. “Omicron XBB-related sublineages are antigenically distant from prior Omicron strains and continue to account for the vast majority of COVID-19 cases globally. The updated COVID-19 vaccine aims to further improve protection against severe illness and hospitalization.”
The CHMP’s recommendation is based on the full body of previous clinical, non-clinical, and real-world evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and BioNTech. Further, the application included pre-clinical data showing that the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted monovalent COVID-19 vaccine generates a substantially improved response against multiple XBB sublineages, including XBB.1.5, XBB.1.16, and XBB.2.3, compared to the Omicron BA.4/BA.5-adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccine. Additional pre-clinical data demonstrate that serum antibodies induced by the updated COVID-19 vaccine, when compared to the Omicron BA.4/BA.5-adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, also effectively neutralize the globally dominant and recently WHO-designated variant of interest EG.5.1 (Eris).3
Pfizer and BioNTech have also filed an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting approval of their Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted monovalent COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 6 months of age and older. A decision is expected in the coming days. The companies have submitted data for the updated COVID-19 vaccine to other regulatory authorities around the world.
The COVID-19 vaccines (COMIRNATY®) by Pfizer and BioNTech are based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology and were developed by both companies. BioNTech is the Marketing Authorization Holder for COMIRNATY and its adapted vaccines (COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.1; COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4/BA.5) 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.
INDICATION & AUTHORIZED USE
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent (Original and Omicron BA.4/BA.5) 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.
EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has not been approved or licensed by FDA, but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA, under an EUA to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for use in individuals aged 6 months of age and older. The emergency use of this product is 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.
*The Original Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is no longer authorized for use in the United States.
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At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on and follow us on Twitter at X (twitter.com) and Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer_news) / X (twitter.com), Pfizer | LinkedIn, youtube.com/pfizer and like us on Facebook at Pfizer - Home | Facebook.
Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech) is a next generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. The Company exploits a wide array of computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms for the rapid development of novel biopharmaceuticals. Its broad portfolio of oncology product candidates includes individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor CAR) T cells, several protein-based therapeutics, including bispecific immune checkpoint modulators, targeted cancer antibodies and antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapies, as well as small molecules. Based on its deep expertise in mRNA vaccine development and in-house manufacturing capabilities, BioNTech and its collaborators are developing multiple mRNA vaccine candidates for a range of infectious diseases alongside its diverse oncology pipeline. BioNTech has established a broad set of relationships with multiple global pharmaceutical collaborators, including DualityBio, Fosun Pharma, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Genevant, Genmab, OncoC4, Regeneron, Sanofi, and Pfizer.
For more information, please visit www.BioNTech.com.
1 World Health Organization. COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update. Available at: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
2 Wiemken TL, Khan F, Nguyen JL, Jodar L, McLaughlin JM. Is COVID-19 seasonal? A time series modeling approach. medRxiv. 2022:2022.06.17.22276570.
3 World Health Organization. EG.5 Initial Risk Evaluation. Available at: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/09082023eg.5_ire_final.pdf?sfvrsn=2aa2daee_1