BioNTech buys German site from Novartis to boost vaccine output


The headquarters of German immunotherapy company BioNTech stands on April 22, 2020 in Mainz, Germany.

Thomas Lohnes | Getty Pictures

Germany’s BioNTech is purchasing a German biotech production internet site from Swiss medicines giant Novartis to increase output of the coronavirus vaccine hopeful it is creating with Pfizer.

The transaction, for which the price tag tag was not disclosed, is component of a force to prepare for a world-wide roll-out of the pair’s experimental vaccine that could be reviewed by regulators as early as next thirty day period, among the 1st in the Western earth.

The facility in the German city of Marburg will be converted to be absolutely on stream in the 1st 50 percent of 2021 with an yearly output ability up to 750 million doses of the inoculation, primarily based on the so-called messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.

The two corporations were beforehand aiming to source up to 100 million doses all over the world by the stop of this yr and an additional 1.3 billion doses by the conclusion of 2021.

The new web-site, with its 300 workers that will be a part of BioNTech, will make it possible for for a larger sized 2021 output focus on but it is not nonetheless clear by how considerably on stability, a organization spokeswoman claimed.

The biotech organization reported the facility will be a person of the premier mRNA production sites in Europe, together with two of BioNTech’s current vaccine output internet sites. Pfizer has at minimum four manufacturing web-sites in the United States and Europe, it included.

Vaccine to be fridge-stored for 2 months

Independently, BioNTech claimed it expects that the experimental Covid-19 vaccine it is producing with Pfizer will be in a position to be stored at fridge temperatures for at minimum two months, searching for to allay worries that the compound may have to be deep-frozen.

Talking at an online media briefing on the invest in of an supplemental German manufacturing site, Chief Government Ugur Sahin explained tests have recently confirmed the genetic compound continues to be stable at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius for five days but he expects storability at those situations to be two weeks or extended.

He extra that a very good vaccine should have an efficacy of at the very least 70% to 75% for it to quell the pandemic and that was also the yardstick that BioNTech experienced established alone.