German biotech company BioNTech announced that it will be building a fully integrated mRNA manufacturing facility in Singapore as well as planting its regional (Southeast Asian) headquarters there.
BioNTech is world-famous for partnering with Pfizer to develop a COVID-19 vaccine with a efficacy rate of 95% – according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). That vaccine uses mRNA to teach the body’s cells to make a protein that triggers an immune response that creates protective antibodies.
The Singapore mRNA manufacturing plant will apparently be capable of producing a range of novel mRNA vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer. With COVID vaccine shortages in many parts of the world right now, it goes without saying that the plant could be an incredibly important asset against future pandemic threats.
Explaining why the company picked Singapore, CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin said, “Singapore provides an excellent business climate, growing biotechnology industry and rich talent base.” He thanked the Singapore Economic Development Board for supporting the firm’s expansion there.
The company plans to open its Singapore headquarters in 2021 and begin construction of the manufacturing plant the same year, subject to planning approval. It expects the site to be operational as early as 2023, creating up to 80 jobs in the country.