So the spotlight is once again falling on Marburg. Biontech is using the available infrastructure and expertise of the pharmaceutical and vaccine location and, with its new plant in the university town, will soon hugely increase production of Covid-19 vaccines. Planning permission for the vaccine production facility was given in record time, paving the way for larger vaccine batches. Biontech Manufacturing Marburg GmbH was able to start producing the vaccine on 10 February – about one month earlier than originally planned. After approval by the European Medicines Agency, which still has to approve the production processes of the new facility, the first product batches of the finished vaccine will be delivered to the partner locations for sterile filling into vials, according to Biontech. The first vaccines will probably be delivered at the beginning of April.
In the first half of the year, 250 million doses of vaccine will be made in Marburg. Biontech is aiming at total annual production of 750 million doses. This will make the Marburg plant one of the largest production locations in Europe.
An additional Hessian location, Frankfurt-Höchst, the German corporate headquarters of the pharmaceutical company Sanofi and the largest employer in the industrial park, will play an important role in filling Covid-19 vaccines from summer 2021. Sanofi has granted Biontech access to its production infrastructure and will take over production steps in the late phase.
Working together with Biontech is nothing new for Sanofi. “We know each other well, we’re neighbours after all,” says Miriam Henn, press spokesperson of Sanofi Germany in Frankfurt. There is already cooperation in cancer research.
A Darmstadt start-up has also gained attention. In good time for the worldwide start of vaccinations to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, Bito and Tec4med Life Science are presenting a newly developed system for the safe, temperature-controlled transport of pharmaceutical products. This system will be used to transport the temperature-sensitive Covid-19 vaccine.
As one of the most important locations of the pharmaceutical industry and with a long tradition in the sector, Hessen is making an important contribution to fighting the pandemic. With about 21,000 employees, the sector is also one of the largest industrial employers in Hessen. The Hessian State government has also contributed to the sustainable development of the location and to increasing the innovativeness and competitiveness of its companies. “Hessen is now benefiting from this in the Covid crisis,” says Dr Rainer Waldschmidt.