PFIZER and BioNTech SE, listed on the Nasdaq, have signed an agreement with the Cape Town-based Biovac Institute to manufacture up to 100 million doses per year of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for distribution across Africa.
Pfizer said in a statement yesterday that the deal with Biovac means its global supply chain and vaccine manufacturing network will span three continents and include more than 20 manufacturing facilities.
Africa has so far only received around 38 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine on a continent of 1.2 billion people, according to WHO estimates.
“To facilitate Biovac’s involvement in the process, technical transfer, on-site development and equipment installation activities will begin immediately,” the group said.
Biovac’s manufacture of Pfizer vaccine will be South Africa’s second Covid-19 vaccine production plant – Aspen manufactures Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Gqeberha.
Biovac CEO Dr Morena Mahoana said: “This is a testament to the long-standing relationship we have with Pfizer through the Prevenar 13 vaccine.
“This is a crucial step in strengthening sustainable access to a vaccine in the fight against this tragic global pandemic. We believe this collaboration will create an opportunity to distribute vaccine doses more widely to people in the hardest-to-reach communities, especially those on the African continent, ”he said.
Pfizer and BioNTech expect the Biovac facility in Cape Town to be integrated into the vaccine supply chain by the end of 2021. Biovac would obtain the drug substance from facilities in Europe and manufacture of finished doses would begin. next year.
The operational capacity of up to 100 million doses per year would be exclusively distributed in the 55 states that make up the African Union (AU).
“From day one, our goal has been to provide fair and equitable access to the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to everyone, everywhere,” Pfizer President and CEO Albert Bourla said in the statement.
“We believe that our mRNA technology can be used to develop candidate vaccines against other diseases as well. That is why we will continue to assess sustainable approaches that will support the development and production of mRNA vaccines on the African continent, ”he said.
Pfizer and Biovac have worked together since 2015 on the sterile formulation, filling, finishing and dispensing of the Prevenar 13 vaccine.
Pfizer and BioNTech have to date shipped more than one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine to more than 100 countries or territories in every region. It works with governments and global health partners to deliver 2 billion doses of vaccine to low- and middle-income countries in 2021 and 2022 – 1 billion each year.
This included an agreement to supply 500 million doses to the U.S. government at a non-profit price, which the government would donate to the AU and the Covax 92 Advanced Market Commitment countries, as well as a direct supply agreement with the Covax installation. for 40 million doses.
Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier, MEC, said the Biovac Institute has long been a center of excellence for the development and manufacture of quality vaccines for Africa.
“This announcement is also a welcome boost to confidence in the economy of Cape Town and Western Cape, which is already a leading hub for health technology and innovation in the medical sector – the province has one of the highest concentrations of medical devices and healthcare. companies in the country, ”he said.
Pfizer and BioNTech to start manufacturing Covid-19 vaccine at Biovac in Cape Town
Source link Pfizer and BioNTech to start manufacturing Covid-19 vaccine at Biovac in Cape Town