Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (15 March 2023)
In a major development in the fight against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases on the African continent, the first batch of equipment for BioNTech’s vaccine and drug factory has arrived in Kigali, Rwanda. The arrival of the BioNTainers, which are expected to help advance mRNA-based vaccine research, marks a major milestone in the establishment of scalable mRNA vaccine production in Africa.
The BioNTainers arrived in Rwanda on a huge Antonov plane from Europe and were received by senior officials. According to the Minister of Health, Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, the arrival of the equipment marks the beginning of the process by BioNTech to establish the vaccine manufacturing facility in Rwanda, with more equipment expected to arrive soon.
Last year, BioNTech announced plans to start mRNA vaccine manufacturing in Africa, based on a shipping container solution called the “BioNTainer”. The company also announced that its mRNA-based vaccine candidates for malaria and tuberculosis are expected to enter first-in-human trials early in 2023.
BioNTech, a Germany-based biopharmaceutical company, is pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases using a wide array of computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms. Its broad portfolio of oncology product candidates includes individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bi-specific checkpoint immuno-modulators, targeted cancer antibodies, and small molecules.
BioNTech has also reached an agreement with potential collaboration partners in Africa to establish an end-to-end vaccine manufacturing network on the continent, beginning with Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa. The groundbreaking event for the facility took place in June last year and was attended by President Paul Kagame, different heads of state from across the continent, and senior health officials.
Source: KT Press