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Pfizer's late-stage coronavirus vaccine research is almost totally enrolled in 42,000 volunteers

In this photo from the University of Maryland School of Medicine dated May 4, 2020, the first patient enrolled in the Pfizer COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine, Baltimore, receives an injection .

University of Maryland School of Medicine | AP

Pfizer's late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial involved more than 42,000 volunteers, the company said Tuesday when it released a mixed earnings report for the third quarter.

Almost 36,000 of the volunteers have already received the company's second two-dose Covid-19 vaccine. Pfizer worked on the experimental vaccine together with the German drug manufacturer BioNTech. It contains genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA, that scientists hope will stimulate the immune system to fight the virus.

In September, Pfizer expanded enrollment for its Phase 3 study to include up to 44,000 volunteers, up from the original target of up to 30,000 volunteers. The company said the expansion would allow it to further increase diversity in the study, as well as to include adolescents aged 16 and over and people with pre-existing conditions.

The study update comes as Pfizer reports a mixed third quarter. Sales in the third quarter were down 4.3%, partly hurt by lower demand for some of its drugs due to the pandemic.

Revenue fell from $ 12.68 billion a year ago to $ 12.13 billion and was below the Wall Street analyst survey of Refinitiv of $ 12.32 billion. Nevertheless, the company's earnings of 72 cents per share were slightly better than expected, higher than expected by the analysts.

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