BioNTech Announces Establishment of Interdisciplinary mRNA Excellence Center to Conduct Research Jointly with Scientists from Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel
JERUSALEM, Israel, March 1, 2023 – BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX, “BioNTech”, “the Company”) announced that the Company and the Weizmann Institute of Science (“Weizmann Institute”) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). As part of this MoU, scientists from a variety of disciplines from BioNTech and the Weizmann Institute will collaborate in basic and applied research with the aim to better understand various diseases, including cancer, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. The joint research will be conducted at BioNTech’s newly established mRNA Excellence Center and in Weizmann Institute laboratories.
The MoU supports BioNTech’s long-term strategy to discover, research and develop innovative vaccines and therapies for diseases with high unmet medical need. The Company’s mRNA Excellence Center will be based within the Weizmann Science Park in Ness Ziona, where BioNTech intends to lease office and laboratory space. The center is expected to provide space for approximately 60 researchers to facilitate collaboration among various fields, including life science, computer science, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. BioNTech expects the center to start operations by the end of 2023.
“We are pleased to establish mRNA research laboratories on the campus of the Weizmann Institute of Science,” said Prof. Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. “Our initiative aims to foster collaborations with top researchers to advance multidisciplinary research and accelerate the development of innovative solutions to tackle some of the world's most pressing health challenges.”
Prof. Ziv Reich, Vice President of the Weizmann Institute of Science, said: “The new center will work in close academic collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science and contribute to a better understanding of the drivers and mechanisms of disease in living cells. We welcome the opportunity for a new collaboration that will enrich the research at the Institute, for the benefit of humanity.”
In addition, BioNTech plans to establish and operate an mRNA manufacturing facility based on its BioNTainer solution in Israel, which is intended to facilitate clinical development of investigational cancer therapies as well as Israel’s ability to respond to potential health threats.
Biopharmaceutical New Technologies is a next generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. The Company exploits a wide array of computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms for the rapid development of novel biopharmaceuticals. Its broad portfolio of oncology product candidates includes individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bispecific immune checkpoint modulators, targeted cancer antibodies and small molecules. Based on its deep expertise in mRNA vaccine development and in-house manufacturing capabilities, BioNTech and its collaborators are developing multiple mRNA vaccine candidates for a range of infectious diseases alongside its diverse oncology pipeline. BioNTech has established a broad set of relationships with multiple global pharmaceutical collaborators, including Genmab, Sanofi, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Regeneron, Genevant, Fosun Pharma, and Pfizer. For more information, please visit www.BioNTech.com.
BioNTech Forward-Looking Statements
This statement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may include, but may not be limited to, direct or indirect statements concerning: BioNTech’s potential collaborations with the State of Israel and its scientific institutions and authorities, including the Weizmann Institute of Science, in connection with the potential discovery, research and development of innovative medicines and set-up of mRNA manufacturing capabilities, including the potential provision of cancer immunotherapies; BioNTech’s plans to establish and operate an mRNA manufacturing facility based on its BioNTainer solution in Israel, which is intended to facilitate clinical development of investigational cancer therapies; and Israel’s ability to respond to potential health threats. Any forward-looking statements in this statement are based on BioNTech’s current expectations and beliefs of future events, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: BioNTech’s ability to reach agreements with potential collaboration partners in Israel; BioNTech’s ability to produce, deliver and install mRNA container manufacturing facilities in Israel, including the ability to meet all necessary infrastructure, technology and regulatory requirements; potential delays in the establishment of the BioNTainers in Israel due to unforeseen events, including, but not limited to, global supply chain issues; the development of quality assurance capabilities to remotely support manufacturing sites in Israel; the scale-up of local know-how and training in Israel; the development of sustainable RNA vaccine capacities, production and supply solutions in Israel and the nature, timing, and feasibility of these solutions; BioNTech’s ability to develop, test and commercialize products and product candidates, including the timing to initiate clinical trials; BioNTech’s anticipated market opportunity and size for its products and product candidates; and the rate and degree of market acceptance of BioNTech’s products and, if approved, investigational medicines; and other potential difficulties.
For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see BioNTech’s Quarterly Report on Form 6-K for the quarter ended September 30, 2022, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on November 7, 2022, which is available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and BioNTech undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.
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