Novartis to help manufacture Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

Katie Adams - Print  | 

Novartis has agreed to help manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech to support the vaccine supply chain, the Swiss drugmaker announced Jan. 29.

Using its manufacturing facilities in Stein, Switzerland, Novartis will fill vials with bulk messenger RNA material (the vaccine's active ingredient) and ship them to BioNTech. Quantities have not been disclosed, as the deal is reaching a final agreement.

Novartis plans to begin production in the second quarter of 2021, with initial shipments slated for the third quarter.

Steffen Lang, Novartis's head of technical operations, said in a news release that the drugmaker is committed to using its manufacturing capabilities to help end the pandemic and expects this agreement "to be the first of a number of such agreements."

The announcement came two days after French pharma giant Sanofi announced its plans to manufacture more than 125 million doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

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