: Pfizer and BioNTech say regulatory review for Covid-19 vaccine could be as early as October

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A lab technician uses a pipette dropper during the antigen quantification process of the coronavirus vaccine research at the Valneva SA laboratories in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. T

Akos Stiller/Bloomberg News

Pharmaceutical group Pfizer Inc. said its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, being developed jointly with BioNTech SE, was on track for regulatory review as early as October as it released more data on the product.

The companies on Thursday released additional data from their ongoing study of the BNT162b2 mRNA-based vaccine that is in now a phase 2/3 trial in the U.S. and Germany.

The data showed the vaccine candidate’s “promising safety and immunogenicity profile” from the Phase 1 U.S. trial, said Kathrin Jansen, head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer. Immunogenicity refers to a vaccine’s ability to trigger an immune response in individuals.

Jansen said the company would share T-cell immune response data from the German trial in the near future.

Across younger and older adults it tested, the potential treatment was “well tolerated with mild to moderate fever in fewer than 20%” of participants, they said.

Pfizer PFE, +1.20% and German biotech BioNTech BNTX, +1.02% are among several companies racing to arrive at a COVID-19 vaccine, with optimism that one could be available later this year or early in 2021.

Read: A tidal wave of vaccine news is hitting the market

Pfizer’s update helped boost Asian equities on Friday, with S&P 500 futures ES00, +0.05% up 0.2% and European equity futures pointing to gains. Markets have at times seized on positive vaccine news for the virus that has infected more than 22 million people, killed 793,698 and triggered a severe global recession.

Read: CureVac and EU in advanced talks for 225 million Covid-19 vaccine doses

Pfizer and BioNTech have involved 30,000 participants in the late-stage trial of its Covid-19 candidate that began in late July. The companies previously announced they would receive $1.95 billion from the U.S. government to produce at least 100 million doses of their experimental vaccine. They plan to supply up to 100 million doses worldwide by the end of 2020, and around 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

Pifzer shares have lost 1% since the start of the year, while BioNTech shares have rallied 95%.