TOKYO – On Tuesday, Pfizer Inc PFE.N and BioNTech SE announced the launch in Japan of a combined phase I and phase II clinical trials of their coronavirus candidate mRNA vaccine.
The study will employ 160 individuals aged 20 to 85, the companies said in a statement. Earlier, in the first half of 2021, they decided to supply Japan with 120 million doses of their experimental coronavirus vaccine.
Pfizer, which is developing the vaccine with German partner BioNTech, has said that it can confirm if the vaccine will be successful as early as this month, but that it still requires safety data from a global 44,000-person trial that will not be available until next month.
Japan has vowed to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines for its entire population by mid-2021. In addition to Pfizer, supplies of vaccine candidates to AstraZeneca Plc and other overseas manufacturers have been arranged.
Clinical trials of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and Oxford University resumed this month in Japan after being placed on hold over a British volunteer’s illness that is believed to have been caused by the vaccine.