BioNTech to price vaccine below market rates, differentiate between regions

In this news, we discuss the BioNTech to price vaccine below market rates, differentiate between regions.

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – BioNTech, first in race to produce evidence of a working COVID-19 vaccine, plans to price two-dose regimen below “typical market rates” and reportedly differentiate prices between countries or regions.

Speaking at a Financial Times online event, German biotech firm chief strategy officer Ryan Richardson said the price of the vaccine, which is co-developed with Pfizer and has not yet obtained regulatory approval, would reflect the financial risks that its private sector investors have incurred.

“We have tried to pursue a balanced approach that recognizes that innovation requires capital and investment, so we plan to price our vaccine well below usual market rates, reflecting the situation we find ourselves in and with the aim of ensuring wide world access, ”Richardson said at the FT event.

“I expect there will be differential prices in some parts of the world,” he added, refusing to specify the different price tags.

The vaccine was found to be 90% effective on Monday, based on the results of preliminary trials, a key step in the war against a virus that has killed more than a million people and hit the global economy.

In July, Pfizer agreed with the US government to provide 100 million doses of its potential vaccine at a cost of $ 39 for a two-dose vaccination, or $ 19.5 per dose, with the possibility of selling an additional 500 million doses. under conditions to be negotiated. separately.

The European Commission will discuss the adoption of a supply contract with Pfizer and BioNTech on Wednesday. The block earlier this week said a contract for up to 300 million doses was about to be signed, without providing financial terms.

Richardson also said the two partners’ goal of delivering 1.3 billion doses by 2021 would be the result of stepping up efforts well into the second half of next year.

While there would be a “significant supply” in the first half of the year, the increase in production would continue throughout 2021.

BioNTech’s chief strategy officer stressed that, even if the German group had received public sector support, the risks taken by its investors would deserve financial rewards from a future vaccine.

“We have taken a considerable financial risk. We have raised capital in the capital market, ”he said.

Richard Hatchett, executive director of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), told the FT event that the Pfizer and BioNTech project was the only one among the top 10 vaccine developers not to have received “substantial funding from the public sector”.

In June, the European Investment Bank, the financial arm of the EU, provided BioNTech with € 100 million in debt financing for the development and manufacture of its COVID-19 vaccine.

In September, the German Research Ministry granted BioNTech € 375 million, subject to certain milestones, also to accelerate the development and production of vaccines.

Additional reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Edmund Blair and David Evans

Original © Thomson Reuters

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