Pfizer, BioNTech launch study of omicron-targeted vaccine


Pfizer Inc. PFE, -2.37% and German partner BioNTech SE BNTX, +2.36% said Tuesday they are launching a trial to evaluate an omicron-based COVID-19 vaccine in healthy adults aged 18 to 55. “While current research and real-world data show that boosters continue to provide a high level of protection against severe disease and hospitalization with Omicron, we recognize the need to be prepared in the event this protection wanes over time and to potentially help address Omicron and new variants in the future,” said Kathrin U. Jansen, Ph.D., senior vice president and head of vaccine R&D at Pfizer. The study will enroll up to $1,420 participants for three cohorts; one will comprise people who received two doses of the current Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine 90 to 180 days prior to enrollment, with that group to receive one or two doses of the omicron vaccine; one comprised of people who received three doses of the existing vaccine and will get one dose of the current one or omicron one; and a third group of “vaccine-naive” people, who will get three doses of the omicron vaccine. Pfizer shares were down 1.1% premarket, while BioNTEch was down 0.8%. BioNTech remain up 36.5% in the last 12 months, while the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF XBI, +2.31% has fallen 41% and the S&P 500 SPX, +0.28% has gained 14%.

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