European Biotech Roundup: BioNTech & CureVac Deal to Boost German Vaccine Capacity; Valneva’s Scottish Manufacturing Plans; Morphosys Consolidates German R&D


A roundup of the latest news from European biotech, including BioNTech and CureVac’s German vaccine manufacturing deal; the revival of Valneva’s plans to manufacture its vaccine in Scotland; and Morphosys’ shuttering of its US R&D footprint.


BioNTech, CureVac part of $3.14B deal to bolster German vaccine capacity through 2029: report (Fierce Pharma)

Homegrown mRNA players BioNTech and CureVac have signed on to supply Germany with vaccines against future health emergencies for years to come.

Germany will pay upward of 2.86 billion euros ($3.14 billion) to lock up local vaccine production capacity through 2029, Reuters reports, citing the country’s economy ministry. Wednesday, the German government approved plans to sign contracts with mRNA specialist BioNTech plus the partnership between CureVac and GlaxoSmithKline. Also involved are contract manufacturers Wacker, CordenPharma, Celonic and IDT, the news outlet said.


Valneva revives Scottish vaccine manufacturing plans (Biopharma Reporter)

Valneva has been awarded up to £20m ($27m) in R&D funding from Scottish Enterprise: which will be used to revive its plans to increase vaccine manufacturing in Scotland.

The French vaccines company had been building a state-of-the-art plant in Livingston as part of a €1.4bn ($1.65bn) five-year COVID-19 vaccine deal​​ with the UK government; only for the UK government to cancel the contract in September 2021.

Consequently, construction of new capacity at the site was put on hold.

Now, Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s national economic development agency, is granting the funding to the site to allow it to finish construction and start manufacturing COVID-19 and chikungunya ​vaccines: creating ‘a key vaccine manufacturing site for the long term’.


MorphoSys cans US R&D to consolidate work in Germany, taking $254M charge (Fierce Biotech)

MorphoSys is axing its early pipeline and U.S. R&D work that came with the $1.7 billion purchase of Constellation Pharmaceuticals, which will mean a more than $250 million impairment charge as the German pharma shifts the focus home.

The company will instead consolidate R&D work in its home country and focus research activities on the more advanced assets in the pipeline, according to a Thursday release. The company reported an impairment charge of 231 million euros ($253.7 million).


CureVac launches ‘RNA Printer’ subsidiary to provide clients with flexible mRNA manufacturing (Fierce Pharma)

German Biotech CureVac has formed a new subsidiary, CureVac RNA Printer GmbH, to focus on the company’s RNA Printer technology to speed the manufacturing process for RNA vaccines and therapeutics. (CureVac)

CureVac, a German biotech, formed a new subsidiary centered on the company’s RNA Printer technology that integrates and automates the manufacturing process for RNA vaccines and therapeutics.

CureVac RNA Printer GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of CureVac, launched this week to provide services for clients and to further develop the tech as an end-to-end solution. The RNA printer has moved from the prototype stage to a fully functional facility located at CureVac’s headquarters in Tübingen, Germany, the company notes.


Valneva Provides Regulatory Update on its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate

Saint Herblain (France), March 11, 2022 – Valneva SE (Nasdaq: VALN; Euronext Paris: VLA), a specialty vaccine company, today provided an update on the regulatory review of its inactivated, COVID-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001, by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

As announced on February 25, 2022, Valneva received a list of questions as part of the CHMP’s initial assessment to which it responded within two working days. Valneva has now received a small set of additional questions and is confident it will be able to respond to these in the coming days.

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