The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approval and the satisfaction of certain other customary closing conditions
BioNTech have signed a share purchase agreement with Novartis to acquire its GMP manufacturing facility in Marburg, Germany.
The site will expand BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine production capacity by up to 750m doses per year, or more than 60m doses per month, once fully operational.
The Marburg production site is a multi-platform GMP manufacturing facility that currently employs approximately 300 people. It's equipped for the production of recombinant proteins as well as cell and gene therapies, and holds cell culture labs and viral vector production capabilities.
The acquisition will accelerate BioNTech’s efforts to scale-up its commercial manufacturing capacity to produce its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162. The BNT162 program includes five mRNA vaccine candidates currently in clinical testing in the United States, Europe, South America, and China. BioNTech and Pfizer are evaluating the lead candidate, BNT162b2, in a global Phase III trial.
The facility will operate alongside two of BioNTech’s existing GMP facilities which currently produce the COVID-19 vaccine candidates for clinical trials. The Marburg facility is expected to start the production of mRNA and the LNP formulation for a COVID-19 vaccine in the first half of 2021, pending regulatory authorisation or approval.
BioNTech plans to manufacture additional therapeutic and vaccine drug candidates at the plant, such as other mRNA vaccine, antibody, and cell and gene therapy product candidates to support the development of its diversified cancer and infectious disease product pipeline.
In addition, BioNTech intends to use the Marburg facility to contribute to the production of the COVID-19 vaccine for global supply, including to China, where it is partnered with Fosun Pharma.