Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced in a release that they have submitted Phase 1 data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support the evaluation of a third, or booster, dose of the companies’ COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162b2) for future licensure.
“Vaccination is our most effective means of preventing COVID-19 infection – especially severe disease and hospitalization – and its profound impact on protecting lives is indisputable. Still, with the continuing threat of the Delta variant and possible emergence of other variants in the future, we must remain vigilant against this highly contagious virus,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer. “The data we’ve seen to date suggest a third dose of our vaccine elicits antibody levels that significantly exceed those seen after the two-dose primary schedule. We are pleased to submit these data to the FDA as we continue working together to address the evolving challenges of this pandemic.”
Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted Phase 1 data – part of their Phase 1/2/3 clinical trial program – evaluating the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in U.S. adult participants from the Phase 1 trial of the two-dose series. Participants received a 30-µg booster dose of BNT162b2 8 to 9 months after receiving the second dose. Results from this participant group show that the third dose elicited significantly higher neutralizing antibodies against the initial SARS-CoV-2 virus (wild type) compared to the levels observed after the two-dose primary series, as well as against the Beta variant and the highly infectious Delta variant.
Phase 3 results evaluating the third dose are expected shortly and will be submitted to the FDA, the EMA and other regulatory authorities worldwide. In the U.S., Pfizer and BioNTech plan to seek licensure of the third dose via a supplemental Biologics License Application (BLA) in individuals 16 years of age and older, pending FDA approval of the primary BLA submitted in May 2021.
Under the current amended Emergency Use Authorization, a third dose was authorized on August 12 for administration to individuals at least 12 years of age who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise. This authorization is based on information from an independent report evaluating safety and effectiveness of a third dose in people who received solid organ transplants.