US to pay Pfizer $1.95 bn to produce millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer Inc. and German biotech firm BioNTech SE will get $1.95 billion from the US government to produce and deliver 100 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate. (File/Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 22 July 2020

US to pay Pfizer $1.95 bn to produce millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine

  • Pfizer and BioNTech are among a handful of companies that are racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19
  • Their vaccine candidate has shown promise in early-stage small studies in humans

BENGALURU: Pfizer Inc. and German biotech firm BioNTech SE will get $1.95 billion from the US government to produce and deliver 100 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The agreement allows the US government to acquire an additional 500 million doses, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense said.
Pfizer will deliver the doses if the product receives Emergency Use Authorization or licensure from the US Food and Drug Administration, after completing demonstration of safety and efficacy in a large Phase 3 clinical trial.
A vaccine is seen as crucial to tackle the pandemic and governments across the globe have signed deals with drugmakers to secure dosages of their vaccine candidates.
Pfizer and BioNTech are among a handful of companies that are racing to develop a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus. Their vaccine candidate has shown promise in early-stage small studies in humans.
Pfizer’s shares rose 4%, while BioNTech’s US-listed shares were up about 6% before the bell.


Nepalese team claim first winter ascent of Pakistan’s K2

Updated 46 min 56 sec ago

Nepalese team claim first winter ascent of Pakistan’s K2

ISLAMABAD: A team of Nepalese climbers on Saturday made history after becoming the first to summit Pakistan’s K2 in winter, according to a trekking company leading one of the expeditions.
Dozens of mountaineers have been competing over the past few weeks to summit the world’s second-highest mountain, the last peak above 8,000 meters to be topped in wintertime.
“WE DID IT” tweeted Seven Summit Treks.
“The Karakorum’s ‘Savage Mountain’ been summited in most dangerous season: winter. Nepalese climbers finally reached the summit of Mt K2 this afternoon at 17:00 local time.”
Since the maiden attempt in 1987-1988, just a handful of winter expeditions have been attempted on the storied 8,611-meter (28,250-feet) mountain in the Karakoram range along the Chinese border.
None had got higher than 7,650 meters until Saturday when the good conditions allowed the climbers to push ahead.
This winter an unprecedented four teams totaling around 60 climbers converged on the mountain, more than all the previous expeditions put together.
The 10 Nepalese climbers had earlier been spread across the different teams, but formed a new group in order to claim the feat in Nepal’s name.
Known as the “savage mountain,” winds on the peak can blow at more than 200 kilometers per hour (125 miles per hour) and temperatures drop to minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 76 Fahrenheit).