BioNTech SE announced on 10 May its plans to establish its Regional Headquarters for Southeast Asia in Singapore. This is a key milestone in the Company’s international expansion. It follows the establishment of of its U.S. Headquarters in Cambridge, MA in 2020.
In addition to selecting Singapore as its future regional headquarters, BioNTEch also plans to establish a fully integrated mRNA manufacturing facility in Singapore with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
The new mRNA manufacturing facility will leverage cutting-edge manufacturing and digital infrastructure. It will be equipped to produce a range of novel mRNA vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer.
The envisioned site will bring highly automated and end-to-end mRNA production capabilities across drug substance, drug product and fill-and-finish, with an estimated annual capacity of several hundred of million doses of mRNA-based vaccines depending on the specific vaccine, BioNTech said on its website.
In a Facebook post, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said, “This is an important investment for Singapore and a strong signal of the company’s confidence in our fundamentals.”
“It will strengthen Singapore’s position as a leading hub for biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Singaporeans will benefit from attractive job opportunities in areas like mRNA drug substance and product manufacturing, and fill and finish,” he added.
Having BioNTech’s manufacturing facility here will enhance Singapore’s resilience in dealing with future pandemics beyond COVID-19, Mr Chan said. It will also strengthen our position as a critical node within the global vaccine value chain.
With novel mRNA vaccines and therapeutics an increasingly important way to treat diseases, the ability to manufacture such treatments locally will be a significant boost to our healthcare ecosystem, Mr Chan said.
The new facility will provide regional and global supply capacity of BioNTech’s growing pipeline of mRNA-based product candidates, as well as a rapid response production capability for southeast Asia to address potential pandemic threats.
“Having multiple nodes in our production network is an important strategic step in building out our global footprint and capabilities. With this planned mRNA production facility, we will increase our overall network capacity and expand our ability to manufacture and deliver our mRNA vaccines and therapies to people around the world,” said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech.
“Singapore provides an excellent business climate, growing biotechnology industry and rich talent base. We would like to thank Singapore’s Economic Development Board who has been very supportive throughout our planning process and we look forward to contributing our technology and expertise to the development of the biotechnology industry in Singapore and this region.”
“We strongly welcome BioNTech’s plan to establish its mRNA manufacturing facility and regional headquarters in Singapore. The investment will enable Singapore to develop capabilities in an important new therapeutic modality as part of the strategy to grow our biopharmaceutical industry,” said Dr. Beh Swan Gin, Chairman, EDB. “In particular, BioNTech’s mRNA manufacturing facility will contribute significantly to the region’s ability to address future pandemic threats.”
This is the third major investment here by a global pharmaceutical company.
In October 2020, Thermo Fisher Scientific announced that it would establish a new US$130 million Fill-and-Finish facility here to develop and manufacture vaccines and therapeutics.
And in April this year, Sanofi announced a €400 million investment over five years to create a unique vaccine production center in Singapore, pushing the boundaries of operations through cutting edge manufacturing and digital technologies. In partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the new site will mainly supply the Asian region and complement existing manufacturing capacities in Europe and North America.
Mr Chan said, “These investments are testament to our strong manufacturing capabilities, focus on innovation, trusted IP protection regime, skilled talent and excellent connectivity.”