BioNTech will invest $43 million in a new facility in Germany to produce an important building block in mRNA-based drugs.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed the investment. “Germany and Europe are becoming more resilient by building local value chains,” Scholz said in a statement from BioNtech.
Scholz also stressed the need to speed up Germany’s approvals process for pharma companies when it comes to factories and drugs licensing in order to ensure Germany remains an attractive location for them.
With the facility, BioNTech is seeking more control over the supply chain, which was created in haste during the pandemic.
BioNTech and partner Pfizer as well as rival Moderna at the time scrambled to build a heavy-duty messenger RNA manufacturing network with dozens of external partners from scratch to produce COVID vaccines, in a technology that previously had no commercial application.
The facility consists of two plants for clinical and commercial manufacturing of plasmid DNA, which is an important starting material for mRNA-based and cell-based drugs.
The clinical-scale plant has been operational since August 2022 while the commercial-scale one should be ready by end-2023.