BioNTech to build first mRNA manufacturing facility in Singapore


German biotechnology company BioNTech on Monday announced plans to expand its global footprint to Asia by building its first mRNA manufacturing facility in Singapore.

The Covid vaccine maker will establish its regional headquarters for Southeast Asia in Singapore, later this year, it said in a statement. The facility will be operational as early as 2023, it added.

The fully integrated mRNA manufacturing facility will provide regional and global supply capacity of BioNTech’s growing pipeline of mRNA-based product candidates. It will be equipped to produce a range of novel mRNA vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer.

It will also bring highly automated and end-to-end mRNA production capabilities across drug substance, drug product and fill-and-finish, with an estimated annual capacity of several hundred of million doses of mRNA-based vaccines depending on the specific vaccine, the jab maker said.

“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,” said Ugur Sahin, MD, CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech, in the statement.

The facility, to be set up in collaboration with the Singapore Economic Development Board, will also contribute significantly to the Southeast Asia region’s ability to address future pandemic threats. The site will also create up to 80 jobs in Singapore.

“We strongly welcome BioNTech’s plan to establish its mRNA manufacturing facility and regional headquarters in Singapore. The investment will enable Singapore to develop capabilities in an important new therapeutic modality as part of the strategy to grow our biopharmaceutical industry,” said Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman, EDB, in the statement.

BioNTech in collaboration with US pharmaceutical Pfizer developed a Covid -19 vaccine BNT162. The US FDA approved the vaccine in December for emergency use.

Pfizer and BioNTech, last week, announced to apply for full approval of the vaccine for use in people from ages 16 to 85.

Meanwhile, the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) also plans to invest 240 million pounds in the UK to expand its vaccine business and create multiple jobs in the country. The investment is part of the 1 billion-pound India-UK Enhanced Trade Partnership that will create nearly 6,500 jobs in Britain.The investment by the Adar Poonawalla-run SII will also see the opening of a new sales office in the UK.–IANS