BioNTech Secures Manufacturing Capacity in Asia for mRNA Vaccine and Therapeutics

 

Building on the success of its mRNA research, BioNTech will establish its first regional hub in the Asia Pacific region. The company will open a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to support a global supply of mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutics in Singapore.

This morning, Germany-based BioNTech announced it was expanding its global footprint with the new site in Asia. The facility will provide rapid-response capabilities for future pandemic threats in Southeast Asia. 

The development of the new facility will be supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). In its announcement, BioNTech declined to provide information regarding the expected manufacturing costs.

The establishment of the Singapore site comes at a time of significant success for BioNTech and the COVID-19 vaccine it co-developed with Pfizer. As of May 6, more than 450 million doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine were supplied to 91 countries or territories, according to company data.

BioNTech said it would open an office in Singapore later this year and begin construction on the new facility following approval from local authorities. BioNTech said it anticipates the site could be operational as early as 2023. 

When the site is complete, BioNTech anticipates the facility will create up to 80 jobs in Singapore, one of the biggest pharma hubs in Asia.

Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Ugur Sahin, chief executive officer and co-founder of BioNTech, noted that establishing a facility in Asia is an essential part of its strategy to build out its global footprint and capabilities. 

In 2020, the company acquired Cambridge, Mass.-based Neon Therapeutics to bolster its pipeline with that company’s neoantigen therapies and strengthen its toehold in the United States.

The new mRNA manufacturing facility in Singapore is expected to leverage the company’s manufacturing capabilities as well as its digital infrastructure. The site will be capable of producing a range of novel mRNA vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer. 

The Singapore facility will bring highly automated and end-to-end mRNA production capabilities across drug substances, drug products, and fill-and-finish. When it is operational, the facility will have an estimated annual capacity of several hundred of million doses of mRNA-based vaccines depending on the specific vaccine.

In addition to the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, BioNTech is also developing immuno-oncology products in early- to mid-stage levels of clinical development and cell therapies and small molecules.  

“With this planned mRNA production facility, we will increase our overall network capacity and expand our ability to manufacture and deliver our mRNA vaccines and therapies to people around the world. Singapore provides an excellent business climate, growing biotechnology industry and rich talent base,” Sahin said in a statement. 

Sahin thanked Singapore’s economic development leaders for their support in helping the company establish this regional toehold. 

Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the economic development board in Singapore, said BioNTech’s mRNA manufacturing facility would significantly contribute to the region’s ability to address future pandemic threats.

“The investment will enable Singapore to develop capabilities in an important new therapeutic modality as part of the strategy to grow our biopharmaceutical industry,” Swan Gin said in a statement.

 

BioSpace source:

https://www.biospace.com/article/biontech-secures-toehold-in-asia-with-plans-for-an-mrna-based-manufacturing-facility