Rwandan Government on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with BioNTech to initiate the construction of the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant for mRNA-based vaccines slated for mid-2022.It is expected that the facility will be set up in the Special Economic Zone, located in the suburb of Kigali city, according to the Rwandan minister of Health Dr. Daniel Ngamije who revealed that the project worth over 100 million Euros,will be funded by the European Investment Bank.
The capacity of the plant will start by producing 50 million vaccines at the beginning, but production will increase depending on demand,” he said.
According to the senior Rwandan government official, capacity will be increased sequentially by adding further manufacturing lines and sites to the manufacturing network on the continent, supporting the production of several hundreds of millions of mRNA vaccine doses.
This is the next step in BioNTech’s efforts to implement sustainable end-to-end vaccine supply solutions on the African continent that was largely exposed by the inequality of Covid-19 vaccines.
BioNTech aims to accelerate the building of a GMP-certified manufacturing facility and plan to begin the construction on site in mid-2022, according to the Company’s Chief Operating Officer Sierk Poetting.
Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) are the practices required in order to conform to the guidelines recommended by agencies that control the authorisation, it said.
To enable an expedient set-up of production capacities according to GMP standards, BioNTech will start with the construction and validation of a first production line enabling the manufacturing of drug product for about 50 million of vaccines per year once fully operational.
At the initial stage, officials said, BioNTech will staff, own and operate the facility to support the safe and rapid initiation of the production of mRNA-based vaccine doses.