China's Fosun plans plant to make BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine -Caixin

FILE PHOTO: A booth of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd is seen at a medical instruments and equipment expo in Beijing, China August 17, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) -Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group is planning a facility in China to produce the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Germany’s BioNTech, financial magazine Caixin reported on Wednesday.

The first phase of the China-based manufacturing facility will have production capacity of 200 million doses, Caixin said, citing people familiar with the matter. It did not specify how long it would take to produce that many doses.

Caixin’s latest version of the story dropped a paragraph saying that Fosun plans to set up a joint venture with BioNTech.

In a written response to a Reuters request for comment, a BioNTech representative said the detailed supply arrangement will be subject to further negotiation and agreement between the companies.

“BioNTech and Fosun Pharma are communicating about these possible forms,” the representative added.

Fosun Pharma had said it aims to move from importing finished vaccine from the German company to conducting some filling procedures on its own, using imported bulk ingredients and then eventually making vaccines from scratch, though it has not announced a specific timeline.

Fosun this month said it will buy at least 100 million doses of vaccine from BioNTech for use in mainland China next year if the vaccine receives regulatory approval in the country.

Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan WooEditing by Kim Coghill and David Goodman