BioNTech in China alliance with Fosun over coronavirus vaccine candidate

FRANKFURT, March 16 (Reuters) - BioNTech struck a collaboration deal with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical over the German biotech firm’s rights in China to its experimental coronavirus vaccine, aiming to start testing on humans from late April.

Fosun will pay BioNTech up to $135 million in upfront and potential future investment and milestone payments for development achievement, BioNTech said in a statement on Monday, adding that the two companies will share future gross profits from the sale of the vaccine in China.

Fosun will also take a stake of 1.58 million ordinary shares in BioNTech for $50 million.

Once regulators approve the vaccine, Fosun will market it in China, with BioNTech retaining full rights for the rest of the world, the statement said.

BioNTech said it intends to initiate clinical testing for the compound called BNT162 in Europe, the United States and China in late April.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger, editing by Thomas Seythal