BioNTech’s Chinese partner Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group plans to import 7.2 million doses of the German company’s Covid-19 vaccine in the first half of 2021, Caixin news agency has learned.
Fosun is arranging logistics with several airlines to start transporting the vaccine from BioNTech’s German factory to China starting in January.
China’s own Covid-19 vaccines, developed by Sinopharm unit China National Biotec Group and CanSino Biologics, have already been administered to hundreds of thousands of people under emergency authorisation in China, but they have yet to receive public use approval from drug regulators.
In March, Fosun secured rights from BioNTech to market its vaccine across the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. It said in August it intends to supply 10 million doses for Hong Kong and Macao, distributing them through Hong Kong’s Jacobson Pharma Corp.
Fosun is contracted to pay BioNTech as much as US$135 million in upfront and “potential future investment and milestone” payments for exclusive commercialisation rights in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. It will be responsible for marketing and sales costs and will get 65% of gross profits.
Fosun is also responsible for seeking approval of the vaccine from regulators in mainland China and Hong Kong. It has yet to apply for authorisation on the mainland but is getting ready to submit paperwork to drug regulators in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported.
BioNTech has told Caixin that the vaccine intended for China will be produced at its facility in Marburg, Germany.
According to Caixin, Fosun has said that in the future it might negotiate with BioNTech the possibility of manufacturing and packaging the vaccine in China.