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Fosun and BioNTech partner up for coronavirus vaccine development and commercialisation

Published on 16/03/20 at 11:03am

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to test global leadership, a new partnership has been announced between BioNTech and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical to drive development of a new vaccine candidate to fight the virus.

The candidate, known as BNT162, is designed as a preventative measure to protect against COVID-19 infection.

As part of the partnership, the two companies will join forces to push the drug into clinical trials in China, “leveraging Fosun Pharma’s extensive clinical development, regulatory, and commercial capabilities in the country”.

On the financial side of the agreement and depending on eventual regulatory approval, Fosun will make an equity investment of $50 million 1,580,777 shares in BioNTech.

“A potential pandemic requires a collective effort and both companies are passionate about contributing to the fight against the current coronavirus outbreak,” explained Wu Yifang, President and CEO of Fosun Pharma. “We are excited to collaborate with BioNTech, one of the leading companies worldwide in the mRNA field. Our shared objective is to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus and to be able to rapidly manufacture a vaccine to turn the tide of COVID-19 infection.”

The ultimate goal of the deal is for Fosun to commercialise the drug in China, with BioNTech handling supply duties alongside its partner Polymun for the mRNA vaccine from European GMP manufacturing facilities.

Dr Ugur Sahin, Founder and CEO of BioNTech, also remarked on the deal: “We see this collaboration as an important step in our global effort to expedite the development of our mRNA vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. Fosun Pharma shares our commitment to move rapidly to address the COVID-19 outbreak and brings deep development experience and an extensive network in the pharmaceutical market in China.”

Matt Fellows

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