Pfizer BioNTech announced Wednesday the signing of a letter of intent with Biovac Institute Ltd, a South African biopharmaceutical company, to manufacture the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for distribution within the African Union.
Under the deal, Biovac will do manufacturing and distribution activities within Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s global Covid-19 vaccine supply chain and manufacturing network.
The companies noted that technical transfer, on-site development and equipment installation activities will begin immediately to facilitate Biovac’s involvement in the process.
Pfizer and BioNTech expect that Biovac’s Cape Town facility will be incorporated into the vaccine supply chain by the end of 2021.
Biovac will obtain drug substance from facilities in Europe, and manufacturing of finished doses will commence in 2022.
At full operational capacity, the annual production will exceed 100 million finished doses annually. All doses will exclusively be distributed within the 55 member states in the African Union.
Pfizer and BioNTech have shipped more than 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to date to more than 100 countries or territories in every region of the world.
The companies are actively working with global governments as well as global health partners with the aim to provide 2 billion doses to low and middle income countries in 2021 and 2022 – 1 billion each year.
This includes an agreement to supply 500 million doses to the US Government at a not-for-profit price, that the government will, in turn, donate to the African Union and the COVAX 92 Advanced Market Commitment countries, as well as a direct supply agreement with the COVAX facility for 40 million doses.