German biotech company BioNTech plans to establish regional headquarters for Southeast Asia in Singapore. It also plans to open its first production facility in Singapore to manufacture mRNA-based vaccines with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

According to a press release dated May 10, the new facility will produce a range of mrNA vaccines and therapeutics for infections diseases and cancer, with an estimated annual capacity of several hundred of million doses of mRNA-based vaccines depending on the specific vaccine.

BioNTech plans to open its Singapore office and initiate construction of the manufacturing facility in 2021, subject to planning approval. The company anticipates that the site could be operational as early as 2023 and will create up to 80 jobs in Singapore.

SEE:Pfizer to deliver US vaccine doses by end May

Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, says that the production facility in Singapore will increase the company’s overall capacity and network. “Singapore provides an excellent business climate, growing biotechnology industry and rich talent base,” he says.

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“We strongly welcome BioNTech’s plan to establish its mRNA manufacturing facility and regional headquarters in Singapore. The investment will enable Singapore to develop capabilities in an important new therapeutic modality as part of the strategy to grow our biopharmaceutical industry,” said Beh Swan Gin, EDB chairman.

“In particular, BioNTech’s mRNA manufacturing facility will contribute significantly to the region’s ability to address future pandemic threats,” he adds.

BioNTech's move to expand to Southeast Asia follows the opening of its US headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2020.