On Friday, Pfizer (PFE 1.04%) and BioNTech (BNTX 1.08%) announced that they have submitted new data about their BNT162b2 vaccine to the Food and Drug Administration. With this submission, the two companies hope that the FDA will update the emergency use authorization (EUA) it has granted the vaccine.
The new data indicates that Pfizer and BioNTech's BNT162b2 can be kept for as long as two weeks at temperatures common to pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators, as opposed to the constant ultra-low temperature storage it initially seemed to necessitate.
"The data submitted may facilitate the handling of our vaccine in pharmacies and provide vaccination centers an even greater flexibility," BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said in the announcement.
The coronavirus remains a major health threat, even though daily numbers of cases and deaths continue to decline, often dramatically.
"We will continue to leverage our expertise to develop potential new formulations that could make our vaccine even easier to transport and use," Sahin pledged.
Separately, a study conducted at Israel's Sheba Medical Center indicated that BNT162b2, designed to be a two-dose vaccine, was 85% effective at blocking the coronavirus from 15 to 28 days after the first jab. While more research must be done to explore this effect, 85% is extremely high, and offers great promise for quicker inoculation throughout the world.
BNT162b2 is one of only two coronavirus vaccines with an EUA in the U.S. The other is Moderna, a two-shot vaccine that can be stored at standard pharmaceutical freezer and refrigerator temperatures. It can also be refrigerated in warmer environments for up to 30 days before use.
BioNTech stock rose Friday, advancing by 2.7% in contrast to the 0.2% decline of the S&P 500 index. On the other hand, Pfizer slipped by 0.4%.