- Johnson & Johnson – $56.1bn.
On 15.11.20, Johnson & Johnson Initiates Second Global Phase 3 Clinical Trial of its Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate
The Phase 3 ENSEMBLE study of the single-dose regimen of JNJ-78436735, the investigational vaccine candidate for the prevention of COVID-19 being developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, continues to enroll and vaccinate study participants. ENSEMBLE is proceeding to enroll up to 60,000 participants worldwide.
In addition to the single-dose regimen ENSEMBLE study, Janssen has now initiated the two-dose regimen ENSEMBLE 2 trial. ENSEMBLE 2 is a complementary, planned, pivotal, large-scale, multi-country Phase 3 trial that will study the safety and efficacy of a two-dose regimen of the investigational Janssen vaccine candidate for the prevention of COVID-19 in up to 30,000 participants worldwide. The ENSEMBLE and ENSEMBLE 2 trials will run in parallel.
While a potentially safe and effective single-dose preventive COVID-19 vaccine would have significant benefits, particularly in a pandemic setting, Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine program has been designed to be extremely thorough and driven by science. As such, we are investigating multiple doses and dosing regimens to evaluate their long-term efficacy.
The Phase 3 ENSEMBLE and ENSEMBLE 2 trials follow positive interim results from the Company’s ongoing Phase 1/2a clinical study, which is studying the safety profile and immunogenicity of both a single-dose and two-dose vaccination. The interim analysis showed that a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate induced a robust immune response and was generally well-tolerated.
PHASE 3 ENSEMBLE 2 STUDY
The Phase 3 ENSEMBLE 2 study (NCT04614948) is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a two-dose vaccine regimen versus placebo in adults 18 years old and older with and without comorbidities associated with an increased risk for severe COVID-19. The study will assess efficacy of the investigational vaccine after both the first and second dose to evaluate protection against the virus and potential incremental benefits for duration of protection with a second dose.
Janssen will aim to enroll participants in Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. In order to evaluate the efficacy of Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, clinical trial sites in countries and areas with high incidence of COVID-19 and the ability to achieve a rapid initiation were selected.
ENSEMBLE 2 is being conducted in collaboration with the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
The Company is committed to transparency and sharing information related to the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE 2 study.
JANSSEN’S INVESTIGATIONAL COVID-19 VACCINE CANDIDATE
The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine candidate leverages the Company’s AdVac® technology platform, which was also used to develop and manufacture Janssen’s European Commission-approved Ebola vaccine and construct its Zika, RSV, and HIV investigational vaccine candidates. Janssen’s AdVac® technology platform has been used to vaccinate more than 110,000 people to date across Janssen’s investigational vaccine programs.
2. Pfizer – $51.75bn.
On 09.11.20, Pfizer and BioNTech Announced Vaccine Candidate Against COVID-19 Achieved Success in First Interim Analysis from Phase 3 Study.
- Vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis
- Analysis evaluated 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in trial participants
- Study enrolled 43,538 participants, with 42% having diverse backgrounds, and no serious safety concerns have been observed; Safety and additional efficacy data continue to be collected
- Submission for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) planned for soon after the required safety milestone is achieved, which is currently expected to occur in the third week of November
- Clinical trial to continue through to final analysis at 164 confirmed cases in order to collect further data and characterize the vaccine candidate’s performance against other study endpoints
– Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) announced their mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, against SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated evidence of efficacy against COVID-19 in participants without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, based on the first interim efficacy analysis conducted on November 8, 2020 by an external, independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) from the Phase 3 clinical study.
After discussion with the FDA, the companies recently elected to drop the 32-case interim analysis and conduct the first interim analysis at a minimum of 62 cases. Upon the conclusion of those discussions, the evaluable case count reached 94 and the DMC performed its first analysis on all cases. The case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo indicates a vaccine efficacy rate above 90%, at 7 days after the second dose. This means that protection is achieved 28 days after the initiation of the vaccination, which consists of a 2-dose schedule. As the study continues, the final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary. The DMC has not reported any serious safety concerns and recommends that the study continue to collect additional safety and efficacy data as planned. The data will be discussed with regulatory authorities worldwide.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO. “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”After discussion with the FDA, the companies recently elected to drop the 32-case interim analysis and conduct the first interim analysis at a minimum of 62 cases. Upon the conclusion of those discussions, the evaluable case count reached 94 and the DMC performed its first analysis on all cases. The case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo indicates a vaccine efficacy rate above 90%, at 7 days after the second dose. This means that protection is achieved 28 days after the initiation of the vaccination, which consists of a 2-dose schedule. As the study continues, the final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary. The DMC has not reported any serious safety concerns and recommends that the study continue to collect additional safety and efficacy data as planned. The data will be discussed with regulatory authorities worldwide.
“I want to thank the thousands of people who volunteered to participate in the clinical trial, our academic collaborators and investigators at the study sites, and our colleagues and collaborators around the world who are dedicating their time to this crucial endeavor,” added Bourla. “We could not have come this far without the tremendous commitment of everyone involved.”
“The first interim analysis of our global Phase 3 study provides evidence that a vaccine may effectively prevent COVID-19. This is a victory for innovation, science and a global collaborative effort,” said Prof. Ugur Sahin, BioNTech co-founder and CEO. “When we embarked on this journey 10 months ago this is what we aspired to achieve. Especially today, while we are all in the midst of a second wave and many of us in lockdown, we appreciate even more how important this milestone is on our path towards ending this pandemic and for all of us to regain a sense of normality. We will continue to collect further data as the trial continues to enroll for a final analysis planned when a total of 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases have accrued. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to make this important achievement possible.”
The Phase 3 clinical trial of BNT162b2 began on July 27 and has enrolled 43,538 participants to date, 38,955 of whom have received a second dose of the vaccine candidate as of November 8, 2020. Approximately 42% of global participants and 30% of U.S. participants have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. The trial is continuing to enroll and is expected to continue through the final analysis when a total of 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases have accrued. The study also will evaluate the potential for the vaccine candidate to provide protection against COVID-19 in those who have had prior exposure to SARS-CoV-2, as well as vaccine prevention against severe COVID-19 disease. In addition to the primary efficacy endpoints evaluating confirmed COVID-19 cases accruing from 7 days after the second dose, the final analysis now will include, with the approval of the FDA, new secondary endpoints evaluating efficacy based on cases accruing 14 days after the second dose as well. The companies believe that the addition of these secondary endpoints will help align data across all COVID-19 vaccine studies and allow for cross-trial learnings and comparisons between these novel vaccine platforms.
Pfizer and BioNTech are continuing to accumulate safety data and currently estimate that a median of two months of safety data following the second (and final) dose of the vaccine candidate – the amount of safety data specified by the FDA in its guidance for potential Emergency Use Authorization – will be available by the third week of November. Additionally, participants will continue to be monitored for long-term protection and safety for an additional two years after their second dose.
Along with the efficacy data generated from the clinical trial, Pfizer and BioNTech are working to prepare the necessary safety and manufacturing data to submit to the FDA to demonstrate the safety and quality of the vaccine product produced.
Based on current projections we expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
Pfizer and BioNTech plan to submit data from the full Phase 3 trial for scientific peer-review publication.
3. Roche – $49.23bn.
On 22.10.20, Roche announces collaboration with Atea Pharmaceuticals to develop a potential oral treatment for COVID-19 patients
- Roche and Atea partner to jointly develop AT-527, an orally administered direct-acting antiviral (DAA) currently in Phase 2 clinical trials
- AT-527 has the potential to be the first novel oral antiviral to treat COVID-19 patients outside the hospital setting as well as in the hospital and may also be used in post-exposure prophylactic settings
- Oral, small-molecule DAAs for COVID-19 patients allow for large-scale manufacturing and facilitate broad patient access
- If approved, Atea will distribute AT-527 in the United States and Roche will be responsible for global manufacturing and distribution outside the United States
Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that they are joining forces in the fight against COVID-19 to develop, manufacture and distribute AT-527, Atea’s investigational oral direct-acting antiviral, to people around the globe. AT-527 acts by blocking the viral RNA polymerase enzyme needed for viral replication, and is currently being studied in a Phase 2 clinical trial for hospitalised patients with moderate COVID-19. A Phase 3 clinical trial, expected to start in Q1 2021, will explore the potential use in patients outside of the hospital setting. In addition, AT-527 may be developed for post-exposure prophylactic settings.
AT-527, while being a potential oral treatment option for hospitalised patients, also holds the potential to be the first oral treatment option for COVID-19 patients that are not hospitalised. Additionally, the manufacturing process of small-molecule DAAs allows the ability to produce large quantities of a much needed treatment. If successful, AT-527 could help treat patients early, reduce the progression of the infection, and contribute to decreasing the overall burden on health systems.
The collaboration aims to accelerate the clinical development and manufacturing of AT-527, to investigate its safety and efficacy, and to provide this potential treatment option to patients around the world as quickly as possible. If AT-527 proves safe and effective in clinical trials and regulatory approvals are granted, Atea will be responsible for distributing this treatment option in the U.S, with the option to request Genentech’s support, and Roche will be responsible for distribution outside the United States.
“The ongoing complexities of COVID-19 require multiple lines of defence. By joining forces with Atea, we hope to offer an additional treatment option for hospitalised and non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients, and to ease the burden on hospitals during a global pandemic.” said Bill Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Roche Pharmaceuticals. “In jointly developing and manufacturing AT-527 at scale, we seek to make this treatment option available to as many people around the world as we possibly can.”
“Roche shares our passion for delivering innovative new medicines to address great unmet medical needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for a novel, oral antiviral to treat this highly infectious and often deadly virus,” said Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Atea Pharmaceuticals. “AT-527 is expected to be ideally suited to combat COVID-19 as it inhibits viral replication by interfering with viral RNA polymerase, a key component in the replication machinery of RNA viruses. Importantly, the manufacturing process for our small molecule direct-acting antiviral allows us to produce AT-527 quickly and at scale.”
Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Roche