BioNTech to launch construction of mRNA-based vaccine facility in Africa

BioNTech revealed plans to launch the construction of a manufacturing plant for mRNA-based vaccines in the African Union mid-next year.

The German biotech company said that the new plant is the next step in its efforts for implementing sustainable end-to-end vaccine supply solutions across Africa.

In this regard, BioNTech has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Rwandan government and the Institut Pasteur de Dakar, a biomedical research center in Dakar, Senegal.

The parties have agreed to jointly establish end-to-end manufacturing capacities for mRNA-based vaccines in the continent with immediate effect.

Construction plans for the mRNA-based vaccine facility have been finalized by BioNTech, which has ordered the assets that will be delivered by mid-2022.

BioNTech to launch construction of mRNA-based vaccine facility in Africa

BioNTech to launch construction of mRNA-based vaccine facility in Africa. Photo courtesy of BioNTech SE.

The German biotech company will begin with the construction and validation of a first production line aimed at manufacturing the drug products for nearly 50 million Covid-19 and other vaccine doses per year, after it is fully operational.

The capacity of the mRNA-based vaccine facility will be sequentially ramped up through the addition of more manufacturing lines and sites to the manufacturing network in Africa, thereby helping in the production of several hundreds of millions of mRNA vaccine doses.

Ugur Sahin — CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech said: “Together, we will work on developing a regional manufacturing network to support the access to vaccines manufactured in Africa, for Africa.

“Our goal is to develop vaccines in the African Union and to establish sustainable vaccine production capabilities to jointly improve medical care in Africa. We have made great progress in the past few weeks, which will help us on our way to turn these plans into reality.”

BioNTech said that it is also in talks regarding an expansion of its existing partnership with South African vaccine manufacturer Biovac, which is part of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing network.

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