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Pfizer, BioNTech to jointly develop shingles vaccine

Pfizer headquarters in New York. Getty Images

Pfizer headquarters in New York.


Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech announced on Wednesday that they would develop a potential mRNA-based vaccine for the prevention of viral  shingles, working together for the third time after the success of their COVID-19 vaccine.

 Pfizer partnered with BioNTech in 2018 for an influenza vaccine and again in 2020 to develop the COVID-19 vaccine which has been used around the world and  brought in billions of dollars in corporate sales.

The companies plan to begin clinical trials of the shingles vaccine, which will combine antigen technology recognized by scientists at Pfizer  with BioNTech’s mRNA platform technology, in the second half of 2022. 

Shingles, also known known as herpes zoster, usually develops in older people who had chickenpox or varicella-zoster virus when they were younger. 

Its hallmark is a painful rash that goes away within a month in most cases. In some cases, however, this leads to nerve pain which can persist for much longer collaboration, BioNTech will receive $225 million in upfront payment and be eligible  for future regulatory and commercial payments of up to $200 million. BioNTech will pay Pfizer $25 million for the company’s proprietary antigen technology.



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