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BioNTech on course to produce three billion doses of Pfizer-partnered COVID-19 vaccine in 2021

BioNTech’s CEO Ugur Sahin said increase in manufacturing will allow for this target to be met

BioNTech’s chief executive officer (CEO) Ugur Sahin said the company is now on track to produce three billion doses of its Pfizer-partnered COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, an increase on its previous forecast for the year.

Sahin, speaking at a webcast event hosted by the Financial Times, said that efforts to increase the company’s manufacturing scale has put it on course to produce close to three billion doses of the vaccine – BNT162b2 – this year alone.

"Our teams did a great job to further increase the manufacturing scale to come up now with numbers reaching 3 billion doses," said Sahin.

BioNTech will have help from other major pharma companies, including Novartis and Sanofi, after signing separate manufacturing agreements to bolster production of BNT162b2.

Sanofi will provide BioNTech with access to its established manufacturing infrastructure, as well as its expertise, with the aim of producing over 125 million doses of the vaccine in Europe.

Novartis is providing support with a production site in the German city of Marburg, which is fully equipped for the production of recombinant proteins, as well as cell and gene therapies.

In March, BioNTech forecast significant sales of €9.8bn for its Pfizer-partnered COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.

The estimate, revealed in BioNTech’s 2020 financial results, is based on the delivery of currently signed supply contracts for approximately 1.4 billion doses of the vaccine.

The German biotech company also previously raised the full-year manufacturing capacity target for the vaccine from 2 billion to 2.5 billion doses during its Q1 results.

‘The increase is driven by the optimisation of production processes, the recent initiation of production at BioNTech’s Marburg, Germany facility, regulatory approval for six-dose vials and the expansion of our manufacturing and supplier network,’ the company said in a statement.

‘Additional measures and discussions with potential partners to further expand the manufacturing capacity and network are ongoing,’ the statement continued.

During Pfizer's Q1 earnings presentation, the company said that it expects to have capacity to manufacture at least three billion doses in 2022.

The pharma giant revealed that the vaccine brought in global revenues of $3.5bn during Q1, forecasting that it now expects sales of the jab to reach $26bn for the full year.

This forecast reflects an expectation of delivering 1.6 billion doses in 2021, meeting contracts that had been signed by mid-April, said Pfizer.

However, the company added that it may provide updated guidance in its future earnings releases, if additional contracts are signed.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

5th May 2021

From: Marketing

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