Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech) has agreed to acquire a GMP certified manufacturing facility in Marburg, Germany from Novartis to expand the production capacity of its BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
The financial terms of the deal were not revealed by the parties.
BioNTech said that the production capacity of its five mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidates under the BNT162 program will be up to 750 million doses per year, or more than 60 million doses per month after the Marburg vaccine plant is fully operational.
The deal is anticipated to be wrapped up in Q4 2020.
The German biotech company plans to produce up to 250 million doses of the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the first half of next year with the support of the established team and drug substance and drug product manufacturing capabilities at the Marburg vaccine facility.
Dr. Sierk Poetting – Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at BioNTech said: “This acquisition reflects BioNTech’s commitment to significantly expanding its manufacturing capacity in order to supply a potential vaccine worldwide upon authorization or approval. We are working closely with Novartis to prepare for a smooth transition, and we look forward to welcoming the new members of our team and tapping into their impressive skills and expertise.
“From a strategic standpoint, the new site will bolster our vertically integrated business model with in-house manufacturing capabilities for mRNA manufacturing as well as vaccine formulation.”
The BNT162 program is currently in clinical testing across the US, Europe, China, and South America.
BioNTech and its partner Pfizer are assessing the lead candidate BNT162b2 in a phase 3 clinical trial held across the world.
Earlier this week, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research announced a grant of up to €375 million to BioNTech to support the accelerated development of the BNT162 vaccine program, which is being co-developed with Pfizer and also China-based Fosun Pharma.