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BioNTech To Buy Novartis' GMP German Manufacturing Site For COVID-19 Vaccine Production

BioNTech SE (BNTX) announced Thursday that it has signed a share purchase deal to buy Novartis AG's GMP certified manufacturing facility in Marburg, Germany. The company, which expects the facility to be fully operational in the first half 2021, aims to expand its COVID-19 vaccine production capacity.

In pre market activity on Nasdaq, BioNTech shares were gaining at 3 percent to trade at $68.

BioNTech will take over the entire site with currently approximately 300 employees. The acquisition will accelerate BioNTech's efforts to scale-up its commercial manufacturing capacity to produce its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162.

Once fully operational, the manufacturing site will expand BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine production capacity by up to 750 million doses per year, or over 60 million doses per month.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approval and the satisfaction of certain other customary closing conditions.

BioNTech plans to be able to produce up to 250 million doses of BNT162b2 in the first half of 2021, thanks to the established team and well-established drug substance and drug product manufacturing capabilities at the site.

According to the company, the Marburg production facility will become one of the largest mRNA manufacturing sites in Europe and the third site in the BioNTech manufacturing network in Germany expected to produce BNT162 for global supply.

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