Vaccine maker BioNTech to open Singapore hub

The upcoming site is a long-term investment

Vaccine maker BioNTech to open Singapore hub

Vaccine maker BioNTech has selected Singapore as its headquarters for Southeast Asia, with the construction of offices and a manufacturing facility likely to begin this year. The expansion plans support the biotech group and its vaccine partner Pfizer’s bid to ramp up production of COVID-19 vaccines in the long run.

The group clarified that the opening of the regional hub isn’t intended to bolster this year’s target of manufacturing three billion doses. But because Singapore is a partner, the company is set to allocate a fraction of the vaccines to Singapore citizens.

Read more: Should CEOs be vaccinated before employees?

“We have to be clear that starting a manufacturing building in Singapore will not help us in the next 12 months with regard to the global supply (of the COVID-19 vaccine),” said BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin. “The global supply can only be addressed by increasing the existing production capacities. We did that and they will continue to do that in the next 12 months.”

The selection of Singapore as a regional HQ is part of BioNTech’s construction of additional manufacturing sites in places like Germany, Belgium and the US. Once fully operational, the company will hire about 80 new staff members, including management and quality assurance roles.

Read more: No need to change job scope of unvaccinated workers

“We’re looking at this as a long-term investment in biotech in Singapore,” Sahin said. “It extends beyond COVID-19. Our hope here is that we can establish both a regional and even potentially global supply for a range of different vaccines and therapies based in Singapore.”

The entry of BioNTech in the region is expected to have knock-on effects on the economy. “Every significant investment that we attract into Singapore will certainly strengthen the overall ecosystem within Singapore because this will enable us to grow our talent pool – from management to production control and quality assurance,” said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

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