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BioNTech co-founder sees no value in releasing patents because the important thing is to ensure that European vaccines reach developing countries.
Thanks to sales of the COVID-19 vaccine developed with Pfizer, Germany's BioNTech company posted a net profit of $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2021, which contrasts with the $65 million it lost during the same period last year.
Regarding the possibility of releasing the patents on COVID-19 vaccines, BioNTech co-founder Ugur Sahin said he sees no value in releasing the patents because "the important thing" is to continue to ensure that vaccines made in the U.S. and Europe reach developing countries.
As of May 6, BioNTech and Pfizer had supplied 450 million doses of their vaccine to 91 countries and territories. In addition, these companies have signed agreements to supply over 1.8 billion doses by 2021. Among these commitments is a contract made with the European Commission (EC).
BioNTech announced that it will establish a new manufacturing facility in Singapore where it could start producing messenger RNA-based vaccines in 2023.
The German company expects to have an annual production capacity of 3 billion doses by the end of 2021. It also said its production could ramp up in 2022.
Pfizer and BioNTech are now conducting clinical studies to gain approval for a COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 11 years. Before the end of this year, the companies could even apply for approval of their product for emergency use in children of all ages.
BioNTech is also entering the final testing phase of three of its oncology programs in the near future and plans to launch multiple new products over the next five years.