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Novartis, Bayer announce separate agreements to bolster COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing

Novartis will help manufacture Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccine and Bayer will do the same for CureVac's vaccine

Novartis and Bayer have announced separate agreements to aid the manufacturing of Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine and CureVac’s vaccine, respectively.

Swiss pharma company Novartis has reached an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech to provide manufacturing capacity for their COVID-19 vaccine.

Novartis will aim to begin production of the vaccines in the second quarter of 2021, with plans to commence manufacturing at its site in Stein, Switzerland.

“Novartis has been mobilising on multiple fronts to support the global pandemic response,” said Steffen Lang, head of Novartis Technical Operations.

“As a company reimagining medicine with advanced therapy platforms, we are committed to leverage our manufacturing capabilities to help support the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics around the world. We expect this to be the first of a number of such agreements,” he added.

The announcement closely follows a similar agreement signed between Sanofi and BioNTech, which also aims to increase production for the Pfizer-partnered COVID-19 vaccine.

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.

Sanofi is set to begin late-stage manufacturing from summer 2021 to support the scale-up of Pfizer/BioNTech’s mRNA-based vaccine.

Earlier this month, Pfizer/BioNTech temporarily slowed down shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine to the EU.

Pfizer said in a statement that shipments of the vaccine doses were being impacted by changes made to its manufacturing processes as part of its new production capacity goal.

BioNTech recently increased the production capacity for the vaccine, announcing that it now aims to deliver up to two billion doses of the jab this year.

In a different agreement, German pharma company Bayer has signed a manufacturing agreement with CureVac to bolster production of CureVac’s investigational COVID-19 vaccine.

Bayer is already supporting the development, supply and key territory operations of CureVac’s vaccine candidate.

Stefan Oelrich, head of Bayer’s pharmaceutical division, said that the company expects to produce 161 million doses of CureVac’s vaccine in 2022.

“[The] first commercial product[s] from this expansion may already be available towards the end of this year. To accomplish this, we will rely on our own product supply network, including our site in Wuppertal, Germany,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

1st February 2021

From: Marketing

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