Pfizer signs up for longer pact with Icon, pens extra 2-year clause

Pfizer building
Pfizer HQ (Tracy Staton)

Back in 2016, Pfizer signed up with CRO Icon to help it, alongside other CROs PPD and Parexel, run its vast trial network.

Clearly happy with its partner, Pfizer has now penned an extension to that deal, adding three more years with a clause that could also see an extra two years on top of that.

The Big Pharma gives little detail away about the specifics of what Icon does for it, but the Ireland-based CRO said it will under the pact continue to “provide global expertise in the planning, execution, management and conduct of clinical trials.”

Steve Cutler, Icon’s CEO, said: “The further progression of ICON’s long-standing relationship with Pfizer is clear recognition of our capabilities and expertise in partnering with Pfizer on their drug development and commercialisation efforts. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Pfizer to help advance their pipeline and deliver continued innovation in the drug development process.”

RELATED: COVID-19 prompts Pfizer to stop enrollment in most studies

This comes at a time, however, when Pfizer, among almost all other major pharmas, has seen delays to ongoing and new trials as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on studies for anything outside of a treatment or vaccine for the disease.

Late last month, Pfizer said the current plan is to hold off on enrolling patients in many new and ongoing global trials for three weeks. The only exceptions are studies that are enrolling people with life-threatening conditions who are running out of treatment options.

Pfizer is still figuring out exactly how COVID-19 will impact its operations. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing published two weeks ago, Pfizer said the impact of COVID-19 “will depend on the extent and severity of the continued spread of the coronavirus globally.” Pfizer thinks the impact could be material.

Pfizer has, however, teamed up with German mRNA biotech BioNTech for work on its vaccine, which should start human testing in a matter of weeks and sees the two working on a vaccine against the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

To initiate the alliance, Pfizer and BioNTech last month executed a material transfer and collaboration agreement and agreed on a letter of intent covering the co-development and distribution of the vaccine, code-named BNT162, outside of China. Fosun Pharma is partnered on the vaccine in China.