Pfizer/BioNTech to develop mRNA shingles vaccine

Updated: Feb 11

Words by GOLD newsdesk

Pfizer and BioNTech have announced a new collaboration to develop a potential first mRNA-based vaccine for the prevention of shingles.


The global collaboration agreement will see Pfizer’s antigen technology and BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology leveraged, with the goal of developing a highly efficacious mRNA vaccine with a favourable safety profile that is easily scalable to support global access.


This is the third infectious diseases collaboration between the two companies, following their prominent influenza and COVID-19 vaccine collaborations initiated in 2018 and 2020 respectively.


Referring to the success of the collaborative’s COVID-19 vaccine, Mikael Dolsten, Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical, Pfizer, said: “With this agreement, we continue on our journey of discovery together by advancing mRNA technology to tackle another health challenge ripe for scientific innovation, supported by our world-class manufacturing network.”


Clinical trials of the mRNA shingles vaccine are expected to start in the second half of 2022. The companies will share development costs and any potential commercialisation rights and profits. Pfizer will have rights to commercialise the potential vaccine on a global basis, with the exception of Germany, Turkey and certain developing countries, where the rights will lie with BioNTech.


Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will pay BioNTech $225 million in upfront payments, including a cash payment of $75 million and an equity investment of $150 million. BioNTech is eligible to receive future regulatory and sales milestone payments of up to $200 million. BioNTech will pay Pfizer $25 million for the company’s proprietary antigen technology.