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Pfizer announces COVID-19 vaccine partnership

Dr. Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer chief scientific officer, joins ‘Closing Bell’ to discuss Pfizer’s new partnership. The company plans to start COVID-19 trials by April.

The race is on to develop an immunization against COVID-19.

Dozens of companies and public labs around the world are working to develop a vaccine to prevent the spread of the flu-like virus. Over the last 48 hours, three biotech companies, in particular, have been thrust into the spotlight for their promise: BioNTech, CureVac and Moderna.

All three of these firms specialize in messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics. These mRNA molecules are used to instruct the body to produce its own immune response to fight a range of different diseases. This type of vaccine can potentially be developed and produced more quickly than traditional vaccines.

Moderna is a Massachusetts-based biotech company working with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). It kicked off its first trial Monday in Seattle, Washington.

This is called a “phase one” study and is being conducted by the NIH. Moderna is also preparing for a potential “phase two” study that it would conduct itself. Moderna shares rose 27% in Monday’s trading session.

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