Bill Gates recently stated that he views Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) as the leader in the coronavirus vaccine race. In a CNBC interview, he said, "The only vaccine that, if everything went perfectly, might seek the emergency use license by the end of October, would be Pfizer."
The Gates Foundation also owns shares of the big drugmaker. However, this investment wasn't initiated because of Pfizer's coronavirus program. Actually, the foundation first bought a stake in Pfizer back in 2002 with the stated intention of "expand[ing] access to the pharmaceutical company's all-in-one injectable contraceptive, Sayana Press, giving women in the developing world an affordable option."
Gates is probably correct in assessing Pfizer as the coronavirus vaccine leader. The company expects to report initial results next month from a late-stage study of BNT162b2, the COVID-19 vaccine candidate that it's developing with BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX). If all goes well, BNT162b2 could very well become the first coronavirus vaccine available to Americans.
It's not surprising that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also owns shares of BioNTech. Again, though, the nonprofit foundation didn't invest in the German biotech stock because of its coronavirus program.
The Gates Foundation first bought a position in BioNTech in September 2019, well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It invested $55 million in the biotech, with the potential for total funding to reach $100 million. The foundation's goal with this investment was to work with BioNTech to develop vaccines and immunotherapies for preventing HIV and tuberculosis (TB) infection.
BioNTech began developing its BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine program earlier this year. It had already made significant progress with this program when it announced a partnership with Pfizer in March.
Original article here.
Primary funder of the MHRA:
And, in 2017, MHRA awarded over £980,000 for collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organisation