BioNTech SE announced the completion of its first proprietary plasmid DNA manufacturing facility in Marburg, a historic university city in central Hessen. The company’s site in Marburg is one of Europe’s largest facilities for producing mRNA-based vaccines.
Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, recently visited the facility with BioNTech co-founders Prof. Ugur Sahin, Chief Executive Officer, and Prof. Özlem Türeci, Chief Medical Officer.
“Medical biotechnology is a key technology of the 21st century,” said Chancellor Scholz. “The pandemic has proven Germany’s capability as a location for innovation and manufacturing of medicines. Germany and Europe are becoming more resilient by building local value chains. BioNTech’s investment is very good news.”
The new manufacturing facility is part of a long-term, EUR 40 million plan to develop the Marburg site. In the past two years, the company has more than doubled the number of employees to around 700. In addition to the already established commercial production of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the development plan includes these three potential growth areas:
- A technology hub for innovative manufacturing solutions
- Manufacturing mRNA vaccines on a clinical scale to support the company’s clinical trials
- In-house plasmid DNA production
Independent plasmid DNA manufacturing increases BioNTech’s flexibility and autonomy while enabling faster production cycles and shorter delivery times. Plasmid DNA is an important starting material for making mRNA-based vaccines. The company intends to use it for clinical and commercial product candidates.