Coronavirus: Pfizer prepares for large-scale vaccine production

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Pfizer Inc said on Friday it is in talks to shift more of its medicine production to outside contractors as it prepares for large-scale production of an experimental vaccine to prevent COVID-19, should it prove safe and effective.

The U.S. drugmaker is tapping its network of around 200 outside contractors, which includes Catalent Inc and Lonza Group AG, to play a bigger role in producing some of its existing medicines, Mike McDermott, president of global supply at Pfizer, told Reuters in an interview.

That will help Pfizer shift a portion of production at four of its vaccine manufacturing facilities, including one of its largest U.S. factories, toward the coronavirus vaccine while preventing disruptions in supply of its other products, he said.

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“They have been hugely helpful in the past and will help us through this,” McDermott said.

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Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE (22UAy.F) said on Tuesday they have begun delivering doses of their coronavirus vaccine candidates for initial human testing in the United States. Trials in Germany had already begun.

If successful, Pfizer said it hopes to receive emergency use authorization from the U.S.

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