Hail BioNTech, the hero whose name people conveniently forget about when talking about the “Pfizer vaccines” they helped to make.
Now, they are looking to set up their regional headquarters in Singapore, in addition to a manufacturing plant.
Jeez, Singapore is like a magnet for foreign businesses these days.
BioNTech to Set Up Regional HQ Here
The German biotechnology company (in case it’s not clear enough from its name) hopes to put its Singapore office into action this year, and plans to see the manufacturing facility complete in as early as 2023.
BioNTech believes that the plant can “leverage cutting-edge manufacturing and digital infrastructure” to “produce a range of novel mRNA vaccines and therapeutics”, adding that the automated plant can produce “several hundred of million doses of mRNA-based vaccines” per year.
Let’s just hope we won’t need that many COVID-19 vaccine doses by then.
This move is part of the firm’s plans for capacity expansion after its vaccine achieved stunning success battling the pandemic, recently starting production at a new Marburg facility acquired from another pharmaceutical firm.
Singapore was chosen because of its business-friendly environment and a vibrant talent base, according to the biotechnology firm.
Its CEO, Ugur Sahin, also commented that “having multiple nodes in our production network is an important strategic step on building out our global footprint and capabilities”, while the Economic Development Board believe that Singapore can “develop capabilities in an important new therapeutic modality” with the investment.
What’s with pharmaceutical investments and vague, complicated phrases? What does “therapeutic modality” mean anyway?
What Is BioNTech?
While the German firm rose to worldwide fame for its vaccines, immunisation has actually been a side hustle for them.
The company, whose name apparently stands for “Biopharmaceutical New Technologies”, began in an effort to develop cancer treatments.
Its business focuses on developing individualised cancer immunotherapy using mRNA technologies.
That means the new Singapore facility won’t be solely focused on vaccines, but rather be dedicated to “a range of novel mRNA vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer”.
Nonetheless, the firm’s expertise came in handy when it embarked on the development of an mRNA vaccine, which it created at an unprecedented speed with the support of Pfizer for logistics and testing.
They also have a really cool logo. Looks like the evil company from some sci-fi movie.
Also, to know more about mRNA technology, watch this video to the end:
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