Taking a big jump towards delivering an effective vaccine to fight the pandemic, US-based pharmaceutical major Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech on Monday said that their vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 in first interim analysis of data from late stage Phase-3 trial.
Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla called the development "a great day for science and humanity".
The two companies said that their mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162b2 has demonstrated evidence of efficacy against Covid-19 in participants without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The analysis was conducted on Sunday by an external, independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) from the Phase-3 clinical study.
The case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo indicates a vaccine efficacy rate above 90 per cent, at seven days after the second dose, the two companies said.
This means that protection is achieved 28 days after the initiation of the vaccination, which consists of a two-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, Pfizer and BioNTech said.
"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," the Pfizer Chairman and CEO said in a statement.
"We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development programme 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," Bourla said.