Pfizer enrolls over 42,000 patients for COVID-19 vaccine trial

Robert Langreth

Pfizer Inc. said it has enrolled more than 42,000 patients in its COVID-19 vaccine trial, and more importantly, almost 36,000 have received their second dose as of Oct. 26, the company said in its earnings statement Tuesday.

But there was no update on what everyone was waiting for: news on when Pfizer could get its first efficacy results from the trial. The company has previously said they could come as soon as this month, depending on how fast cases accrue in the trial.

In a presentation affiliated with the Pfizer earnings, Pfizer dropped a clue as to where its COVID-19 vaccine trial stood in terms of getting efficacy results. It said that the data-monitoring board of scientists overseeing the trial has not conducted any interim efficacy analysis to date. What that means is that there have been fewer than 32 cases of Covid-19 in the trial so far. The first of four efficacy analyses is scheduled to be conducted when the trial achieves 32 cases.

Previously, some analysts had wondered whether a interim analysis might already have been conducted, without showing conclusive results, and Pfizer didn’t tell us. This clearly isn’t the case.

Earnings themselves weren’t dramatic. The company’s revenue came in slightly below analyst estimates and it tightened its guidance for the year.