Pfizer and BioNTech have concluded exploratory talks with the European Commission for a proposed supply of 200 million doses of their investigational BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2 to EU nations, with an option to purchase a further 100 million doses.

Deliveries could potentially start by the end of 2020, subject to clinical success and regulatory authorisation.

The companies said they will now enter into contract negotiations with the European Commission to finalise the deal.

“Pfizer and BioNTech’s anticipated agreement with the European Commission is an important step forward in our shared goal to have millions of doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 available for vulnerable populations before the end of the year,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer's chairman and chief executive.

“We have activated our supply chain, most importantly our site in Belgium, and are starting to manufacture so that our vaccine would be available as soon as possible, if our clinical trials prove successful and regulatory approval is granted.”

Vaccine doses for Europe would be produced in BioNTech’s German manufacturing sites, as well as in Pfizer’s manufacturing site in Belgium.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they are on track to seek regulatory review of BNT162b2 in October 2020.