Pfizer begins COVID-19 vaccine trial, will be manufactured in Michigan

PGS Kalamazoo, Michigan | Pfizer (Pfizer)

DETROIT – Pfizer has started a new clinical trial on a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, and it’ll be manufactured in Michigan.

Pfizer and BioNTech SE announced Tuesday that the first participants have been dosed in the U.S. in the phase 1/2 clinical trial for the “BNT162 vaccine” program to prevent COVID-19.

The trial is part of a global development program, and the dosing of the first cohort in Germany was completed last week.

Pfizer is scaling up their manufacturing capacity and distribution infrastructure to create up to hundreds of millions of doses by 2021. The company’s clinical trial supply will be made at sites in Andover, Massachusetts and Chesterfield, Missouri, and the initial manufacturing will be conducted in Kalamazoo, Michigan -- the largest manufacturing site in the Pfizer network.

Related: Beaumont launches new clinical study on combo treatment for COVID-19

“This is great news for our families, our neighbors, and those serving on the front lines during this crisis,” said Governor Whitmer. “COVID-19 has shown how vulnerable our country is when it comes to supply chain and much of the lifesaving materials we need are manufactured out of the country. That’s why we are so proud that one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in the world is the Pfizer site right here in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In fact, Michigan has a strong history of vaccine development with the polio and anthrax vaccines. Pfizer is a great partner and the State of Michigan and our strong manufacturing roots stand ready to serve.”

The first stage of the study is taking place at four sites across the U.S. – NYU School of Medicine; University of Maryland School of Medicine; University of Rochester School of Medicine; and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, with plans to “rapidly scale up the number of sites across the country,” as Pfizer moves into later stages of development throughout the year.

“It is encouraging that we have been able to leverage more than a decade of experience in developing our mRNA platforms to initiate a global clinical trial in multiple regions for our vaccine program in such a short period. We are optimistic that advancing multiple vaccine candidates into human trials will allow us to identify the safest, most effective vaccination options against COVID-19,” said CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin.

Find more info on the vaccine trial here.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad has proudly been with WDIV/ClickOnDetroit since 2013. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters, and helps lead the WDIV Insider team. He's a big sports fan and is constantly sipping Lions Kool-Aid.