BioNTech is also pursuing facility developments in Senegal and South Africa, in close coordination with each country
BioNTech has reached the next milestone in the establishment of scalable mRNA vaccine production in Africa. The six ISO-sized shipping containers for the first BioNTainer have been flown to Kigali, Rwanda, where they have been welcomed by Sabin Nsanzimana, MD, PhD, the Minister of Health of Rwanda and Sierk Poetting, PhD, Chief Operating Officer at BioNTech.
In parallel, BioNTech continues to build and develop its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the production of mRNA-based drugs and product candidates in Kigali, Rwanda, following the groundbreaking in June 2022. The facility will initially house two sets of BioNTainers for mRNA vaccine production in bulk and is expected to become the first node in a decentralized and robust end-to-end manufacturing network in Africa.
We welcome the opportunity for a new collaboration that will enrich the research at the Institute, for the benefit of humanity
BioNTech is also pursuing facility developments in Senegal and South Africa, in close coordination with each country. Vaccines deriving from this envisioned pan-African infrastructure will be intended for people residing in member states of the African Union, with the aim to support access to novel medicines.
BioNTech is advancing mRNA-based vaccine candidates to address malaria and tuberculosis based on the Company’s mRNA platform. The malaria vaccine candidate BNT165 entered clinical trials in December 2022. The clinical trials for the tuberculosis vaccine candidate BNT164 are expected to enter first-in-human trials shortly.
This comes after the company and the Weizmann Institute of Science signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) whereby scientists from a variety of disciplines from BioNTech and the Weizmann Institute will collaborate in basic and applied research with the aim to better understand various diseases, including cancer, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. The joint research will be conducted at BioNTech’s newly established mRNA Excellence Centre and in Weizmann Institute laboratories.
The MoU supports BioNTech’s long-term strategy to discover, research and develop innovative vaccines and therapies for diseases with high unmet medical need. The Company’s mRNA Excellence Centre will be based within the Weizmann Science Park in Ness Ziona, where BioNTech intends to lease office and laboratory space. The centre is expected to provide space for approximately 60 researchers to facilitate collaboration among various fields, including life science, computer science, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. BioNTech expects the centre to start operations by the end of 2023.
“We are pleased to establish mRNA research laboratories on the campus of the Weizmann Institute of Science,” said Professor Ugur Sahin, MD, CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. “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.”
Professor Ziv Reich, Vice President of the Weizmann Institute of Science, 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.”