The company BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) started producing coronavirus vaccines at a new facility in Germany, which will help it increase production by around 750 million doses per year in Europe. The first batch of vaccines manufactured in Marburg, north of Frankfurt, amounting to 8 million doses, is expected to be distributed early next month, BioNTech announced.
This vaccine, developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, takes only a few days to manufacture the mRNA. A batch of medicines produced this week will have to be transported to another location to be packaged into vials before shipped. Before products are handed out, there is a quality-control process conducted by the European Medicines Agency.
Thanks to the Marburg plant, vaccine production will double this year. Pressure has increased on manufacturers to produce more vaccines, especially since the European Union is moving more slowly on vaccines than the US and UK.
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis sold BioNTech SE (BNTX) the plant last year, and it intends to use it to supply the world outside the US. During the first half of this year, BioNTech said, it will produce 250 million doses of the vaccine, according to the company’s press release. In the meantime, Pfizer’s Belgian factory, whose production had slowed due to renovations, has resumed full production.