BioNTech said acquiring the vaccine plant in Marburg, Germany from pharmaceutical company Novartis would allow it to produce tens of millions of additional doses of vaccine per month – pending regulatory approval – at starting next year.
The plant is expected to be fully operational in the first half of 2021, BioNTech said in a press release, and will retain its existing highly skilled workforce of 300 following the transfer from Novartis later this year.
“In full production, the production facility will increase BioNTech’s ability to produce vaccines by approximately 750 million doses per year or over 60 million doses per month,” said BioNTech.
BioNTech expects to be able to produce 250 million doses of its vaccine candidate, BNT162, on the site in the first half of 2021 “thanks to the production of well-established biotechnology drugs at the site and to an experienced team,” he said. added.
The company also reiterated its goal of preparing the candidate vaccine for regulatory approval in early November this year.
Pfizer and BioNTech have already announced their intention to deliver 100 million doses of their vaccine candidate by the end of the year, and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday, BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin said BioNTech-Pfizer will deliver some of the first 100 million available doses to the United States. “We will deliver vaccines to the United States and Europe if the necessary approvals are obtained,” Sahin said.
BioNTech-Pfizer would simultaneously seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European regulatory agency, the European Medicines Agency, he said.
“We have had multiple discussions and are currently preparing documents that include not only clinical data, but also data on production quality,” Sahin added.
In July, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense announced a $ 1.95 billion deal with Pfizer to produce 100 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. The deal also allows the US government to acquire an additional 500 million doses.
Sahin told CNN in an interview last week that the two companies were confident they could have a coronavirus vaccine ready for regulatory approval by mid-October or early November.
“He has an excellent profile and I consider this vaccine … almost perfect, and one which has an almost perfect profile,” Sahin said at the time.
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