BERLIN, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- German pharmaceutical company BioNTech said Thursday it would acquire the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis' production facility in Marburg, western Germany, to manufacture a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
Once fully operational, the manufacturing site would expand BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine production capacity by up to 750 million doses per year, BioNTech said in a statement.
The transaction is expected to be closed in the fourth quarter of 2020.
In the first half of 2021, BioNTech plans to produce up to 250 million doses of the vaccine candidate BNT162b2, pending regulatory approval and licensing, in the Marburg facility which currently employs around 300 people.
The Marburg plant is the third site in BioNTech's production network in Germany, producing BNT162 for global supply, said the company.
The BNT162 vaccine program includes five vaccine candidates currently in clinical trials in the United States, Europe, South America and China. BioNTech and its partner U.S. company Pfizer are testing the lead vaccine candidate BNT162b2 in a global Phase 3 study, according to the statement.