* Thermal shipping boxes allow for 15-day storage
* CEO says trial to yield data even after switch from
FRANKFURT, Nov 10 (Reuters) - BioNTech on Tuesday
signalled that order size would impact the per-dose price for
its potential COVID-19 vaccine in the developed world.
"The price for the U.S. for the first 100 million doses was
$19.50 per dose," said BioNTech's Chief Strategy Officer Ryan
Richardson in an analyst call after the release of third-quarter
results on Tuesday.
He was referring to a July deal struck by partner Pfizer
with the U.S. government for the supply of the vaccine.
"You can think about that as a benchmark for how we would
price the vaccine to the developed world for similar volumes,"
The vaccine was on Monday shown to be 90% effective, based
on preliminary trial results, a major milestone in the war
against a virus that has killed more than a million people and
battered the world's economy.
Richardson said at an earlier event on Tuesday that even
though the German group had received some public-sector funds,
the product price would partly reflect the risks taken by its
The company on Tuesday also said it would use special
thermal shipping boxes to transport vials once they are taken
out of ultra-low temperature storage.
The vaccine, which belongs to a class known as messenger
RNA, will have to be shipped and centrally stored at minus 70
degrees Celsius, Chief Executive Ugur Sahin said on
The thermal boxes would preserve the ultra-low temperatures
for up to 10 days for ambient temperatures of up to 25 degrees
Celsius without opening them and up to 15 days if the boxes are
opened and then re-iced, BioNTech said in presentation slides.
As previously announced, the vaccine can be kept for up to
five days at fridge temperatures.
During the analyst call on Tuesday, Sahin said participants
on placebo in a control group could at some point no longer be
denied the vaccine when its efficacy is further confirmed.
But for lack of a placebo group, longer-term insight could
still be gleaned afterwards by using general infection
statistics among the non-vaccinated population as comparison.
"This might give us indirect evidence ... by comparison of
epidemiological data, how this long-term protection could
evolve," he said.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger
Editing by Edward Taylor and Jane Merriman)