BioNTech has reportedly planned to build a new factory and a regional center in Singapore for their vaccines. This will boost the company’s presence in Asia amidst raging debates over patents and rising pressure on drug makers to increase the production of COVID-19 shots.
Government bodies are setting up local vaccine production plants to have an easy access to supplies after many countries have witnessed a massive slowdown in the vaccination program owing to manufacturing setbacks.
The Singapore plant will address the possible threats that the pandemic can pose in southeast Asia. It will also increase the global supply capacity of the company’s product portfolio which has products other than vaccines, based on mRNA technology, as stated by a company representative at BioNTech.
mRNA vaccines like Pfizer (PFE.N) and BioNTech’s COVID-19 shot, stimulates the human body to create a protein similar to the one on the virus, thus triggering a response from the immune system.
The Germany-based biotech company has stated that the Singapore site will have an approximated annual capacity of over a hundred million doses of their mRNA vaccines, which will depend on specific requirements. The site will commence its operations in 2023.
Co-founder and CEO of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, apparently stated that having several nodes under their production network is a crucial strategy in building out the global capabilities and footprint of the company.
Chief Strategy Officer of BioNTech, Ryan Richardson, stated that the company discussed with many countries across the world regarding raising more production sites, but the decision of setting the Singapore site was an exceptional one.
He further added that the company has established a long-term commitment with Singapore after holding talks with the country for over a year.
Many leading vaccine manufacturers are under immense pressure to publicize their COVID-19 vaccine patents to help out poor nations in these dire times.
Pfizer and BioNTech are jointly providing their vaccine across the world, excluding Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and China, which are covered by BioNTech and its collaboration with Fosun Pharma.