Pfizer and BioNTech Announce Collaboration with Biovac to Manufacture and Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine Doses within Africa
NEW YORK and MAINZ, GERMANY, July 21, 2021 — Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced the signing of a letter of intent with The Biovac Institute (Pty) Ltd, known as “Biovac”, a Cape Town-based, South African biopharmaceutical company, to manufacture the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for distribution within the African Union.
Biovac will perform manufacturing and distribution activities within Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s global COVID-19 vaccine supply chain and manufacturing network, which will now span three continents and include more than 20 manufacturing facilities. To facilitate Biovac’s involvement in the process, technical transfer, on-site development and equipment installation activities will begin immediately.
Pfizer and BioNTech expect that Biovac’s Cape Town facility will be incorporated into the vaccine supply chain by the end of 2021. Biovac will obtain drug substance from facilities in Europe, and manufacturing of finished doses will commence in 2022. At full operational capacity, the annual production will exceed 100 million finished doses annually. All doses will exclusively be distributed within the 55 member states that make up the African Union.
“From day one, our goal has been to provide fair and equitable access of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to everyone, everywhere,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer. “Our latest collaboration with Biovac is a shining example of the tireless work being done, in this instance to benefit Africa. We will continue to explore and pursue opportunities to bring new partners into our supply chain network, including in Latin America, to further accelerate access of COVID-19 vaccines.”
“We aim to enable people on all continents to manufacture and distribute our vaccine while ensuring the quality of the manufacturing process and the doses,” said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. “We believe that our mRNA technology can be used to develop vaccine candidates addressing other diseases as well. This is why we will continue to evaluate sustainable approaches that will support the development and production of mRNA vaccines on the African continent.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Pfizer and BioNTech to produce and distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine within Africa. This is testament of the long-standing relationship we have had with Pfizer through the Prevenar 13 vaccine,” said Dr. Morena Makhoana, CEO of Biovac, “This is a critical step forward in strengthening sustainable access to a vaccine in the fight against this tragic, worldwide pandemic. We believe this collaboration will create opportunity to more broadly distribute vaccine doses to people in harder-to-reach communities, especially those on the African continent.”
Pfizer and BioNTech select contract manufacturers using a rigorous selection process based on several factors: quality, compliance, safety track record, technical capability, capacity availability, highly trained workforce, project management abilities, prior working relationship, and commitment to working with flexibility through a fast-paced program. Pfizer and Biovac have worked together since 2015 on the sterile formulation, fill, finish and distribution of the Prevenar 13 vaccine.
To date, Pfizer and BioNTech have shipped more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to more than 100 countries or territories in every region of the world. The companies are firmly committed to working towards equitable and affordable access for COVID-19 vaccines for all people around the world, actively working with global governments as well as global health partners with the aim to provide 2 billion doses to low and middle income countries in 2021 and 2022 – 1 billion each year. This includes an agreement to supply 500 million doses to the U.S. Government at a not-for-profit price, that the government will, in turn, donate to the African Union and the COVAX 92 Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) countries, as well as a direct supply agreement with the COVAX facility for 40 million doses.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology, was developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer. BioNTech is the Marketing Authorization Holder in the European Union, and the holder of emergency use authorizations or equivalent in the United States (jointly with Pfizer), Canada and other countries in advance of a planned application for full marketing authorizations in these countries.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) for use in individuals 12 years of age and older. The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of the medical product under Section 564 (b) (1) of the FD&C Act unless the declaration is terminated or authorization revoked sooner. Please see Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers) and Full EUA Prescribing Information available at www.cvdvaccine-us.com.
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Pfizer Disclosure Notice
This release contains forward-looking information about Pfizer’s efforts to combat COVID-19, the collaboration between BioNTech and Pfizer to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, the collaboration between BioNTech, Pfizer and Biovac to manufacture and distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses within Africa, the BNT162 mRNA vaccine program and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (BNT162b2) (including qualitative assessments of available data, potential benefits, expectations for clinical trials, supply agreements and the timing of delivery of doses thereunder, efforts to help ensure global equitable access to the vaccine, the anticipated timing of regulatory submissions, regulatory approvals or authorizations and anticipated manufacturing, distribution and supply) involving substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including the ability to meet anticipated clinical endpoints, commencement and/or completion dates for clinical trials, regulatory submission dates, regulatory approval dates and/or launch dates, as well as risks associated with preclinical and clinical data (including the Phase 3 data), including the possibility of unfavorable new preclinical, clinical or safety data and further analyses of existing preclinical, clinical or safety data; the ability to produce comparable clinical or other results, including the rate of vaccine effectiveness and safety and tolerability profile observed to date, in additional analyses of the Phase 3 trial and additional studies or in larger, more diverse populations following commercialization; the ability of BNT162b2 to prevent COVID-19 caused by emerging virus variants; the risk that more widespread use of the vaccine will lead to new information about efficacy, safety, or other developments, including the risk of additional adverse reactions, some of which may be serious; the risk that preclinical and clinical trial data are subject to differing interpretations and assessments, including during the peer review/publication process, in the scientific community generally, and by regulatory authorities; whether and when additional data from the BNT162 mRNA vaccine program will be published in scientific journal publications and, if so, when and with what modifications and interpretations; whether regulatory authorities will be satisfied with the design of and results from these and any future preclinical and clinical studies; whether and when other biologics license and/or emergency use authorization applications or amendments to any such applications may be filed in particular jurisdictions for BNT162b2 or any other potential vaccines that may arise from the BNT162 program, and if obtained, whether or when such emergency use authorization or licenses will expire or terminate; whether and when any applications that may be pending or filed for BNT162b2 (including the Biologics License Application or any requested amendments to the emergency use or conditional marketing authorizations) or other vaccines that may result from the BNT162 program may be approved by particular regulatory authorities, which will depend on myriad factors, including making a determination as to whether the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its known risks and determination of the vaccine’s efficacy and, if approved, whether it will be commercially successful; decisions by regulatory authorities impacting labeling or marketing, manufacturing processes, safety and/or other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of a vaccine, including development of products or therapies by other companies; disruptions in the relationships between us and our collaboration partners, clinical trial sites or third-party suppliers; the risk that demand for any products may be reduced or no longer exist; risks related to the availability of raw materials to manufacture a vaccine; challenges related to our vaccine’s ultra-low temperature formulation, two-dose schedule and attendant storage, distribution and administration requirements, including risks related to storage and handling after delivery by Pfizer; the risk that we may not be able to successfully develop other vaccine formulations, booster doses or new variant-specific vaccines; the risk that we may not be able to create or scale up manufacturing capacity on a timely basis or maintain access to logistics or supply channels commensurate with global demand for our vaccine, which would negatively impact our ability to supply the estimated numbers of doses of our vaccine within the projected time periods as previously indicated; whether and when additional supply agreements will be reached; uncertainties regarding the ability to obtain recommendations from vaccine advisory or technical committees and other public health authorities and uncertainties regarding the commercial impact of any such recommendations; challenges related to public vaccine confidence or awareness; uncertainties regarding the impact of COVID-19 on Pfizer’s business, operations and financial results; and competitive developments.
A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results”, as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov and www.pfizer.com.
BioNTech Forward-looking Statements
For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see BioNTech’s Annual Report as Form 20-F for the Year Ended December 31, 2020, filed with the SEC on March 30, 2021, which is available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and BioNTech undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.