The U.S. will pay drug company Pfizer $1.95 billion to produce and deliver 100 million doses of the company's COVID-19 vaccine candidate should the drug prove effective in human trials the company said in a press release on Wednesday.
Pfizer will deliver the vaccine if and when the drug receives Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA after a large-scale Phase 3 trial.
According to the reports, the deal includes an option for the government to purchase an additional 500 million doses of the vaccine.
“Expanding Operation Warp Speed’s diverse portfolio by adding a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech increases the odds that we will have a safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar said in a statement. “Depending on success in clinical trials, today’s agreement will enable the delivery of approximately 100 million doses of this vaccine to the American people.”
Pfizer and German firm BioNTech are working together to develop the vaccine.
On Monday, Pfizer said in a press release that results from Phases 1 and 2 of a German trial indicated that the drug "could potentially be administered safely, with a manageable tolerability profile," according to data from the tests.
Biotech company Moderna is also working to develop a coronavirus vaccine. That candidate will move into Phase 3 testing by the end of the month, and the government has also agreed to purchase and distribute the drug should the large-scale test prove effective.