OEM : Pharmaceutical
BioNTech was founded in 2008 on the understanding that every cancer patient’s tumor is unique and therefore each patient’s treatment should be individualized. To translate this idea into reality, we have combined ground-breaking research with cutting-edge technologies to develop pioneering therapeutics for cancer and beyond. As we prove the value of our approach in the clinic, we will continue to build the partnerships, manufacturing and team required to bring individualized treatments to patients worldwide. From our roots in Mainz, Germany, we are driven to become the leading global biotechnology company for individualized cancer medicine.
BioNTech to Acquire InstaDeep to Strengthen Pioneering Position in the Field of AI-powered Drug Discovery, Design and Development
BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX, “BioNTech”) and InstaDeep Ltd. (“InstaDeep”) today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which BioNTech will acquire InstaDeep, a leading global technology company in the field of artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning (“ML”). The transaction includes a total upfront consideration of approximately £362 million in cash and BioNTech shares to acquire 100% of the remaining InstaDeep shares, excluding the shares already owned by BioNTech. In addition, InstaDeep shareholders will be eligible to receive additional performance-based future milestone payments up to approximately £200 million. The transaction follows BioNTech’s initial equity investment as part of InstaDeep’s Series B financing round in January 2022.
The acquisition supports BioNTech’s strategy to build world-leading capabilities in AI-driven drug discovery and development of next-generation immunotherapies and vaccines to address diseases with high unmet medical need. The transaction will combine two organizations with a common culture and is expected to add approximately 240 highly skilled professionals to BioNTech’s workforce, including teams in AI, ML, bioengineering, data science, and software development. Through the acquisition, BioNTech will grow its network of global research collaborators in the field and expand its footprint in key talent hubs across the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Vaccine production: Marburg has the right stuff
BioNTech manufactures BNT162b2 in collaboration with US pharmaceutical specialist Pfizer. The company has started manufacturing at the production site in Marburg, in the German state of Hesse. The plant there comes with an ultramodern production facility for recombinant proteins. The relevant expertise is also available, since BioNTech also acquired a highly qualified employee base along with the production facility, all of whom are experienced in developing new technologies.
The facility in Marburg had been producing influenza vaccines based on flu cell culture, then changed over to recombinant proteins for cancer treatments and now manufactures mRNA vaccine.
All the improvements at the Marburg plant are Industry 4.0-compatible. One of the challenges with the conversion was the fact that it involved switching from rigid to mobile production with many single-use components. At the same time, working with mRNA meant a higher clean room class than was previously required in the facility. Paper is now an avoidable “contamination factor” that doesn’t arise with digital production. That was the basis for opting for the Opcenter Execution Pharma solution from Siemens as the new MES. This solution enables complete paperless manufacturing and fully electronic batch recording.
How Pfizer Makes Its Covid-19 Vaccine
“This is where the magic happens.”– Patrick McEvoysenior director of operations and engineering
A rack of 16 pumps precisely controls the flow of the mRNA and lipid solutions, then mixes them together to create lipid nanoparticles.
When the lipids come into contact with the naked strands of mRNA, electric charge pulls them together in a nanosecond. The mRNA is enveloped in several layers of lipids, forming an oily, protective vaccine particle.
Synchronizing eight pairs of pumps is not an ideal solution, but Pfizer engineers chose to scale up existing technology instead of trying to build a larger, unproven type of precision mixing device.
The newly made vaccine is filtered to remove the ethanol, concentrated and filtered again to remove any impurities, and finally sterilized.
Politics, Science and the Remarkable Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine
The furious race to develop a coronavirus vaccine played out against a presidential election, between a pharmaceutical giant and a biotech upstart, with the stakes as high as they could get.
The story of mRNA: How a once-dismissed idea became a leading technology in the Covid vaccine race
The liquid that many hope could help end the Covid-19 pandemic is stored in a nondescript metal tank in a manufacturing complex owned by Pfizer, one of the world’s biggest drug companies. There is nothing remarkable about the container, which could fit in a walk-in closet, except that its contents could end up in the world’s first authorized Covid-19 vaccine.
Pfizer, a 171-year-old Fortune 500 powerhouse, has made a billion-dollar bet on that dream. So has a brash, young rival just 23 miles away in Cambridge, Mass. Moderna, a 10-year-old biotech company with billions in market valuation but no approved products, is racing forward with a vaccine of its own. Its new sprawling drug-making facility nearby is hiring workers at a fast clip in the hopes of making history — and a lot of money.