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Pfizer shares zoom 20 pc on vaccine report

Shares of Pfizer Limited zoomed nearly 20 per cent on Tuesday after Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said their vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19.

The stock jumped 16.29 per cent to Rs 5,875 — its record high — on the BSE.

At the NSE, it gained 19.83 per cent to its lifetime high of Rs 5,900.

“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.

“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,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said on Monday.

After discussion with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the companies recently elected to drop the 32-case interim analysis and conduct the first interim analysis at a minimum of 62 cases, the company said in a statement.

“… 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.

However, the announcement does not mean a vaccine is imminent. This interim analysis, from an independent data monitoring board, looked at 94 infections recorded so far in a study that has enrolled nearly 44,000 people in the US and five other countries, the AP reported.

Pfizer Inc did not provide any more details about those cases and cautioned the initial protection rate might change by the time the study ends.

The shots made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech are among 10 possible vaccine candidates in late-stage testing around the world — four of them so far in huge studies in the US.

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