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“All this is ideal for us”

| Standort Behringwerke

There are many good reasons for BioNTech producing in future at the Behringwerke site – explains Ugur Sahin, CEO, co-founder and co-owner of the company.

Why did you opt for the Behringwerke site?

It’s very clear to us: we need to expand our production capacities as quickly as possible – it is, of course, perfect when you find a site that is already fully equipped and has 300 highly qualified employees. We can move in here immediately, the infrastructure is excellent, and there are additional expansion opportunities at the Behringwerke site. All of this is ideal for us. Add to this the historical background of the site – we wish to continue the history of the site, which was originally founded by Emil von Behring, who helped millions of people worldwide with his developments.

What are the other arguments in favour of the Behringwerke site?

There are excellent transport connections from here. You can get to Frankfurt Airport in an hour, which is critical for distribution. And it is only an hour and a half to our headquarters in Mainz, which is important for technology and staff transfer.

“We wish to start production here in Marburg at the start of 2021, with 250 million doses planned in the first half of 2021.”
Prof. Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO

Ugur Sahin Marburg

Image source: BioNTech

What exactly do you plan to do at the Behringwerke site?

We are planning three of the four vaccine production steps: firstly, production of the messenger RNA, secondly, the preparation and concentration of the drugs, and thirdly, the formulation, where mRNA is mixed with lipid nanoparticles to produce the ready-to-use vaccine. The vaccine will then be bottled at another site.

When do you wish to start production of the vaccine?

As soon as possible. Speed is also crucial particularly now as we are in the throes of the pandemic, which is why we will start production before the vaccine has been approved. We plan to deliver 50 million doses of the vaccine worldwide this year, the majority of which have already been produced. We wish to start production here in Marburg at the start of 2021, with 250 million doses planned in the first half of 2021. The capacity at the Behringwerke site will then rise to 750 million doses per year.

What else could you imagine doing at the Behringwerke site apart from the production of the coronavirus vaccine?

We see a wide range of different uses. The production building is very modern, with bioreactors, cell culture laboratories and storage facilities, as well as highly trained employees who are familiar with all key types of biological processes. This is why this site has potential for vaccine production, but also for our other areas of focus, such as cell and gene therapies, viral vectors, and antibody and cancer therapies.

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