The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has signed an initial agreement to provide production capacity for the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and Biontech. This move is designed to help boost production as supply falls short of demand.
Subject to a final agreement, Novartis plans to start production in the second quarter of 2021, the Basel-based company announced on Friday, adding that it will use production facilities at its location in Stein, Switzerland, near the Rhine on the German border.
Three vaccines from Western companies Pfizer-Biontech, AstraZeneca and Moderna have been approved by the regulatory authorities. However, limited production and late delivery have hampered efforts to quickly vaccinate those most at risk of COVID-19.
Novartis’ announcement to join the push to correct the deficit follows a move by Sanofi this week to partner with Biontech to deliver 125 million doses of its mRNA vaccine to the European Union.
“Novartis has mobilized on several fronts to support the global pandemic,” said Steffen Lang, head of technical operations at Novartis.
Novartis, which did not provide any details on how much drug compound it would produce for Pfizer-Biontech if the deal were successful, added it was in “advanced talks” with other companies producing mRNA, therapeutic protein and other raw materials for adopting vaccines and therapeutics.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)