(15 March 2020, Shanghai, Hong Kong) – Today, Fosun Pharma industrial, a subsidiary company of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd (“Fosun Pharma” or “the Group”; Stock Code: 600196.SH, 02196.HK) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX, “BioNTech” or “the Company”) announced a strategic development and commercialization collaboration to advance BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine in China for the prevention of COVID-19 infections.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two Companies will work jointly on the development of COVID-19 vaccines based on BioNTech’s mRNA technology platform in China. The Companies will collaborate to conduct clinical trials in China leveraging Fosun Pharma’s extensive clinical development, regulatory, and commercial capabilities in the country. BioNTech will supply the mRNA vaccine for clinical trials from GMP manufacturing facilities in Europe.
mRNA is a nucleic acid molecule that carries genetic information. The mRNA vaccine introduces the genetic information into the body, so that the cells in the body produce the corresponding antigen, which induces the body to produce neutralizing antibodies and stimulates the response of T cells, and fights against the virus through the dual mechanisms of humoral immunity and cellular immunity. In the face of a sudden epidemic, compared with traditional vaccines, synthesis and production process of mRNA vaccine is more convenient, and has strong immunogenicity, which does not need additional adjuvant as needed by the traditional vaccine, and with good safety.
BioNTech is a leading mRNA technology company that has diversified mRNA platform technologies, integrated R&D system and strong manufacturing capability. “The mRNA technology introduces genetic information into human body, then the body's own cells produce the corresponding proteins that cure or prevent disease. Fosun Pharma R&D has been tracking the development of this technology. The two companies expect further cooperation in this field,” says Dr. Aimin Hui, President of Fosun Pharma Global R&D.
“We see this collaboration as an important step in our global effort to expedite the development of mRNA vaccines 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,” says Founder and CEO of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, M.D.
Wu Yifang, President and CEO of Fosun Pharma states, “A potential pandemic requires a collective effort and both companies are passionate about contributing to the fight against the current coronavirus outbreak. We are excited to collaborate with BioNTech, one of the leading companies worldwide in the mRNA field. 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.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Fosun Pharma will pay BioNTech up to $85 million in licensing fees (including a down payment, clinical development registration and sales milestone payments) as agreed, and a sales commission equal to 35% of the product's annual gross profit during the agreed sales commission period. Meanwhile, Fosun Pharma has agreed to make an equity investment of USD 50 million (EUR 44 million) for 1,580,777 ordinary shares in BioNTech.