BERLIN, Sept 15 (Reuters) – German biotech firm BioNTech said on Tuesday that it has received about $ 450 million in government funding to accelerate work on its COVID-19 vaccine candidate and expand its production capacity in Germany.
BioNTech and partners are one of the major developers of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. of China, based on molecules carrying a genetic code called messenger RNA (mRNA).
Mainz-based BioNotech, which was founded in 2008 and listed on the Nasdaq exchange last year, said that it would receive 375 million euros (445 million euros) in the fund after applying under a scheme announced in July by research minister Anja Karlicek. Dollars) was awarded.
It will use the money, which is subject to reaching certain clinical milestones, to finance part of its COVID-19 vaccine development program, called BNT162.
CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin stated, “The funding for COVID 19 vaccine in Germany is an important contribution to accelerate the development and expansion of our production capacity.”
The company said it was one of three vaccine programs to be awarded funding from a government pot of 750 million euros, aimed at expanding production capacity in Germany and increasing the number of people involved in late stage trials.
Fellow German biotech firm CureVac said that earlier this month it was awarded 252 million euros in government to support its vaccine candidate.
BioNTech and Pfizer are already testing their most promising vaccine candidate in late stage trials and have begun recruiting patients in the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Europe.
($ 1 = 0.8415 euro) (Reporting by Caroline Copley, editing by Mark Potter)