BERLIN – Pfizer Inc.
Vaccine partner BioNTech SE has said it will set up a new Asian headquarters in Singapore to produce its Covid-19 vaccine and other drugs, as global demand for life-saving vaccines continues to grow.
The new plant, which is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Council, a government agency, is expected to become operational in 2023, BioNTech said. The company has not released any information regarding the cost of the project and the extent of government support.
BioNTech, a small German drug maker specializing in cancer treatments, has developed the first coronavirus vaccine to be approved in the United States and Europe. BioNTech and Pfizer are marketing the cliché together, except in Germany, Turkey and China, where BioNTech operates alone.
The company said in a written statement that it had chosen Singapore for its regional headquarters and that it would build a highly automated mRNA manufacturing site for vaccines and therapies against infectious diseases and cancer.
“With this planned mRNA production facility, we will increase the overall capacity of our network and expand our ability to manufacture and deliver our mRNA vaccines and therapies to people around the world,” said Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech .
“Singapore offers an excellent business climate, a growing biotech industry and a rich talent base,” added Dr Sahin.
Construction is expected to begin this year. When the plant is commissioned in two years, the site is expected to have an annual capacity of several hundred million doses, as well as a production capacity to respond quickly to potential pandemic threats in the region.
Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the EDB, said in a written statement that BioNTech’s mRNA manufacturing facility would significantly contribute to the region’s ability to cope with future pandemic threats.
In September last year, BioNTech purchased a state-of-the-art plant in Germany from Novartis Pharma GmbH to expand its production of Covid-19 vaccines. Yet the Marburg plant, located about 70 miles from BioNTech’s headquarters in the city of Mainz, took more than six months to start producing its first doses, due to complicated technology transfer, the need to modernize the site and the rigorous certification process. .
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Likewise, it took almost eight months for Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, to absorb BioNTech’s proprietary technology and start producing vaccines on a large scale.
BioNTech said earlier that it will soon set up a production site in China with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co.
to supply the Chinese market. China has ordered up to 100 million doses from BioNTech and Fosun Pharma.
Write to Bojan Pancevski à [email protected]
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