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BioNTech and Weizmann Institute to collaborate at company’s new mRNA centre in Israel

The research facility is expected to start operations by the end of the year


BioNTech and the Weizmann Institute of Science have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with the partners set to collaborate on research into various disease areas at BioNTech's new mRNA centre in Israel.

Expected to start operations by the end of the year, the newly established research facility is based within the Weizmann Science Park in Ness Ziona, where the company also intends to lease office and laboratory space.

The centre is expected to provide space for around 60 researchers to facilitate collaboration in various fields, including life sciences, computer science, mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Professor Ugur Sahin, chief executive officer and co-founder of BioNTech, said: “We are pleased to establish mRNA research laboratories on the campus of the Weizmann Institute of Science.

“Our initiative aims to foster collaborations with top researchers to advance multidisciplinary research and accelerate the development of innovative solutions to tackle some of the world's most pressing health challenges.”

The company’s agreement with the Weizmann Institute will see the partners collaborate on research into areas such as cancer, infectious diseases and neurodegenerative disorders.

The institute’s vice president, professor Ziv Reich, said: “The new centre will work in close academic collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science and contribute to a better understanding of the drivers and mechanisms of disease in living cells.

“We welcome the opportunity for a new collaboration that will enrich the research at the institute, for the benefit of humanity.”

The German biotech said it is also planning to establish an mRNA manufacturing facility based in Israel, which it said is intended to facilitate clinical development of investigational cancer therapies and support Israel’s ability to respond to potential health threats.

The announcement comes just weeks after the company said construction was complete on its first proprietary plasmid DNA manufacturing facility in Marburg, Germany.

With the new facility, BioNTech plans to independently manufacture plasmid DNA, which is an important starting material for the manufacturing of mRNA-based vaccines and therapies, as well as cell therapies.

At the time of the announcement, Sahin said: “We plan to manufacture mRNA-based products for a broad range of clinical trial candidates at our Marburg site while we are preparing production measures for the commercial manufacturing of personalised oncology therapeutics.”

Article by
Emily Kimber

3rd March 2023

From: Research



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