BioNTech secures deals for lipids needed in vaccine

Article by Amanda Doyle

BIONTECH has partnered with Merck and Evonik to expand lipid production for its Covid-19 vaccine.

The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, where the mRNA needs to be enclosed within a lipid nanoparticle to protect the mRNA so it can safely be delivered to a target cell. The production of speciality lipids therefore needs to increase before vaccine volumes can increase further.

Merck signed an agreement with BioNTech to accelerate the production of lipids. It is currently working to expand its lipids production capacity with the aim of increased lipid delivery towards the end of this year.

Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck, said: “What unites BioNTech and Merck is our strong belief in mRNA technology and our trustful collaboration in vaccine development. Extraordinary times like these require bold steps, and we are ready to take these steps to tackle one of the biggest challenges of humanity.”

Evonik has also partnered with BioNTech, and it is expanding its lipids production at its Hanau and Dossenheim sites in Germany, with commercial quantities expected by the second half of the year.

Christian Kullmann, Chairman of Evonik’s executive board, said: “The pandemic requires decisive action. We are therefore doing everything possible to supply our partners with the critical lipids they need. At the same time, we are expanding our production capacity and competencies along the entire value chain."

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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