BioNTech, a German company, has already gained international acclaim for its COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed in collaboration with Pfizer. But, not content to rest on its laurels, the mRNA expert has inked a deal to build its first plant in the United States as it seeks to make a considerable mark in cell treatment. BioNTech pays an unknown price to Gilead Sciences’ Kite Pharma for a cell therapy R&D platform and clinical production unit in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
The sale, which is anticipated to finalize by the end of the month, will add to BioNTech cell therapy production network, which already includes its plant in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. In addition, BioNTech will use the Kite plant to supplement supply for its clinical trials in the United States. is best known for its COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty. However, the company also has a pipeline of innovative cell therapies in development, including candidates based on its CAR-T cell amplifying mRNA vaccine method, CARVac, and its recently acquired NEOSTIM platform.
The Kite acquisition should help BioNTech accelerate its clinical trials in the United States and cement its position at the forefront of the burgeoning cell therapy industry, he noted. A spokesman for BioNTech said in an emailed statement that all 50 Kite employees at the location would be offered jobs. In addition, BioNTech intends to make additional investments and hire more people in its Maryland facility, while most finer specifics will be kept under wraps.