Chemical specialist Evonik is helping to accelerate the production of the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech by suppling an essential component. Evonik is delivering first batches of urgently needed lipids for the mRNA-based vaccine to BioNTech months earlier than anticipated.
Specialists at Evonik’s Hanau site set up the lipid production in eight weeks, meeting the high-quality requirements for the component. Initially, delivery was only scheduled to start in the middle of 2021.
“Setting up production at this speed is a great achievement,” says Christian Kullmann, Chairman of Evonik’s Executive Board. “Increasing lipid production in Germany will also allow us to further accelerate the manufacturing of larger quantities of the vaccine. In this way, we are contributing to the fight against the pandemic.”
As part of its strategic partnership with BioNTech, Evonik produces two different lipids for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. Together with other lipids, they encapsulate to form a lipid nanoparticle (LNP), which serves as a protective shell around the mRNA to transport it safely into the cell. There, the mRNA is released to allow the vaccine to take effect.
Listen to an audio interview with Thomas Riermeier, Head of Evonik Health Care, here.