The new target represents an increase of about a quarter from the company’s previous estimate of two billion doses, which is sufficient for about one billion people, according to Bloomberg, and seen by Al-Arabiya.net.
This comes as the world’s thirst for more doses presents a challenge to vaccine makers, who have had to shift from a rapid pace of development to ensuring production capacity. Pfizer and Biontech have revised their targets repeatedly as they ramp up production, sidestepping the controversies facing other pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca.
In turn, Chief Executive Officer of Biontech, Ugur Shaheen, said in an interview, “We are seeing increased demand.” At the moment, we have prepared ourselves to produce 2.5 billion doses, but in principle there is room for further increase.
On the other hand, the company said it is progressing to develop two new versions of the vaccine, one of which is ready-to-use that can be stored at refrigerator temperatures, and a freeze-dried version that can be stored by governments in the future.
The company explained that the latest version of the vaccine needs some studies to ensure its effectiveness, which will begin in the United States in April, and must contain data by the third quarter.
On the other hand, Shaheen and his wife Ozlem Torresi, who is the co-founder, said they would use the vaccine profits to advance research in other areas as well.
Biontec reported a profit of 366.9 million euros in the fourth quarter, compared to a loss of 58.2 million euros in the first quarter of the previous year. As of the end of the year, the company had 1.2 billion euros in cash. It expects to spend 850 million euros on research and development this year.
The company is also planning more than 10 patient trials in the field of oncology, including experimental mRNA technology treatments for skin cancer, head and neck, breast, kidney and liver cancers. They also work on cell therapies and other ways to recruit the immune system to fight cancer.
Biontech said it expects $ 11.5 billion in revenue from already signed supply contracts, amounting to 1.4 billion doses.