Chinese Fosun Pharma Ltd has made the largest investment in a foreign company for a COVID-19 vaccine development: BioNTech’d mRNA vaccine BNT162.
Under the deal, Chinese Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd (Shanghai) will pay up to US$135m (€120m) upfront and in milestones, including an equity investment of US$50m (€40m) for 1,580,777 ordinary shares in German BioNTech SE (Mainz) to get the commercialisation rights in China for BioNTech’s preventive mRNA vaccine candidate BNT162. The companies said they will jointly start clinical Phase I trials in China in April. Yesterday, Moderna enrolled the first US patient into the first ever clinical trail of a Covid-19 vaccine. According to the agreement, BioNTech will retain full rights to develop and commercialize the vaccine in the rest of the world
BioNTech will supply the mRNA vaccine for clinical trials from GMP manufacturing facilities in Europe along with its partner Polymun. “We see this collaboration as an important step in our global effort to expedite the development of our mRNA vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. Fosun Pharma shares our commitment to move rapidly to address the COVID-19 outbreak and brings deep development experience and an extensive network in the pharmaceutical market in China,” said BioNtech's founder and CEO , Ugur Sahin. “A potential pandemic requires a collective effort and both companies are passionate about contributing to the fight against the current coronavirus outbreak," stated Wu Yifang, President and CEO of Fosun Pharma. "Our shared objective is to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus and to be able to rapidly manufacture a vaccine to turn the tide of COVID-19 infection.”
Today, Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech announced that the companies have inked a letter of intent regarding the co-development and global distribution except China of BioNtech’s COVID-19 jab BNT162. The new collaboration builds on a R&D contract into which Pfizer and BioNTech entered in 2018 to develop mRNA-based vaccines for prevention of influenza.
The companies said they will finalise details of the agreement regarding financial terms, and all activities related to development, manufacturing and potential commercialization over the next few weeks. On March 13, 2020, Pfizer issued a five-point plan calling on the biopharmaceutical industry to join the company in committing to unprecedented collaboration to combat COVID-19.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group yesterday announced plans to mobilise up to €40bn for SMEs that fact financial problems due to the Covid-19 crisis. This will go towards bridging loans credit holidays and other measures designed to alleviate liquidity and working capital constraints for SMEs and mid-caps.