BioNTech CEO confident vaccine will be ready for regulatory approval by end of 2020

BioNTech CEO confident vaccine will be ready for regulatory approval by end of 2020
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The CEO of the German company BioNTech told The Wall Street Journal that he expects the coronavirus vaccine the company is developing in partnership with Pfizer to be ready for approval by December.

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said several hundred million doses could be produced even before approval, up to 1.2 billion by the end of 2021. He also predicted that it will be about a decade until the world achieves sufficient immunity. 

“I assume that we will only be done with this virus when more than 90 percent of the global population will get immunity, either through infection or through a vaccine,” Sahin told the Journal. 

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Sahin said BioNTech expects to begin the final stage of the testing process, known as phase three trials, at the end of the month.

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill's 12:30 Report: White House, Dems debate coronavirus relief package Trump: COVID-19 vaccine may be ready 'right around' Election Day Fauci: It's 'entirely conceivable' we could be 'way down' on level of cases by November MORE, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said on Thursday at a virtual event hosted by The Hill that he is “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine will be ready by the end of the year or early next year. 

BioNTech is one of more than a dozen companies working on a vaccine that has shown positive results. 

Moderna, a company working with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is set to begin the phase three testing stage this month as well. AstraZeneca PLC, a company developing a vaccine with the University of Oxford, will also enter phase three trials in August.

On Friday, Gilead Sciences also announced test results on remdesivir, the only approved treatment for COVID-19, showing that it helps reduce mortality in 62 percent of extremely sick patients.

Optimism from a potential vaccine and the success of remdesivir resulted in a spike in the U.S. stock market.