Pfizer, BioNTech Sign New Global Collaboration Agreement for First mRNA-based Shingles Vaccine

This will be the third collaboration between Pfizer and BioNTech in the infectious diseases field, following the influenza vaccine collaboration in 2018 and the COVID-19 vaccine collaboration in 2020.

Pfizer and BioNTech have announced a new collaboration to develop potentially the first mRNA-based vaccine for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster virus or HSV). HSV is a debilitating disease that impacts approximately 1 in 3 people in the United States during their lifetime.

This will be the third collaboration between Pfizer and BioNTech in the infectious diseases field, following the influenza vaccine collaboration in 2018 and the COVID-19 vaccine collaboration in 2020, according to a Pfizer press release.

Shingles is a chronic form of the varicella zoster virus, causing an initial chickenpox infection. The virus, which remains dormant in human nerve cells after chickenpox, has the ability to reactivate later in life from triggers such as stress or in immunocompromised individuals. In rare instances, the disease can lead to facial paralysis, deafness, and blindness.

Both Pfizer and BioNTech will share development costs and will control a proprietary antigen technology identified by Pfizer’s scientists and BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA platform technology used in the companies’ COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, clinical trials are planned to begin in the second half of 2022.

“Pfizer and BioNTech co-developed the world’s first mRNA vaccine, providing a well-tolerated and effective tool to help address COVID-19 – the most devastating pandemic in a century – and demonstrating consistent, agile and high-quality manufacturing on an unprecedented scale,” said Mikael Dolsten, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer and president, Worldwide Research, Development & Medical, Pfizer, in the press release. “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.”

REFERENCE

Pfizer and BioNTech Sign New Global Collaboration Agreement to Develop First mRNA-based Shingles Vaccine. Pfizer. January 5, 2022. Accessed January 5, 2022. https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-sign-new-global-collaboration-agreement