Vials containing the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday, February 11, 2021 at the vaccination site of the Sun City Anthem Community Center in Henderson, Nevada, USA.
Roger Kisby | Bloomberg | Getty Images
SINGAPORE – BioNTech announced Monday that it will be building its headquarters in Southeast Asia in Singapore and building a manufacturing facility in the city-state to manufacture its messenger RNA vaccines and other drugs used to treat infectious diseases and cancer.
The new site could produce hundreds of millions of doses of mRNA-based vaccines each year, depending on the specific vaccine. The plant could be in operation as early as 2023 Biotechnology company said. This would allow the company to ramp up production for Southeast Asia to address future pandemic threats.
BioNTech has worked with US drug maker Pfizer to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 that uses mRNA technology to use genetic material to trigger an immune response against the virus.
BioNTech’s expansion is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board – a government agency of the Department of Commerce. The company is expected to create up to 80 additional jobs in the country.
“Having multiple nodes in our manufacturing network is an important strategic step in building our global presence and capabilities,” said Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, in a statement.
“With this proposed mRNA manufacturing 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.”
Last year, the Mainz-based company opened its US headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The United States has distributed 170 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine under emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Companies have begun seeking full approval for their shot for use on individuals aged 16 and over in the United States
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two vaccinations are required 21 days apart, and the vaccine is 95% effective in preventing laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 disease in people with no evidence of previous infection.
Since vaccination against Covid-19 began, countries have struggled to gain access to enough shots to vaccinate their populations. Last month, the World Health Organization announced that wealthy countries received the vast majority of Covid-19 shots, while poor nations received less than 1%.