German biotech firm BioNTech and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have announced that their COVID-19 vaccine has shown positive results and was well tolerated in early-stage human trials with temporary side effects, Reuters reports.
According to the disclosed data, 24 healthy volunteers who had received two dosages of its BNT162b1 drug on developed higher levels of COVID-19 antibodies than typically seen in infected people after 28 days.
It’s not certain if higher antibody levels will lead to immunity to the virus, but the results seem promising. While there hasn't been a COVID-19 vaccine approved for commercial use yet, BioNTech and Pfizer's drug is one of the 17 potential vaccines that are being tested in humans at the moment.
BioNTech's co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin stated, "These first trial results show that the vaccine yields immune activity and causes a strong immune response," adding that larger trials will be conducted to see if this development can be translated into protection against a real infection.
Philip Dormitzer, the chief scientific officer for viral vaccines at Pfizer’s research laboratories, added, "We still have a ways to go and we’re testing other candidates as well. However, what we can say at this point is there is a viable candidate based on immunogenicity and early tolerability safety data."
The data on the vaccine was disclosed Wednesday in a paper released on MedRXiv; however, it is yet to be peer-reviewed.