BionTech CEO says will work with others to boost vaccine capacity - Anadolu
ANKARA (Reuters) - Ugur Sahin, Chief Executive of BioNTech, said his company is open to working with others as it plans to increase production capacity for its COVID-19 vaccine developed with Pfizer and is considering opening an office in Turkey open.
Sahin reiterated that BioNTech has set a goal of distributing 1.3 billion doses of its vaccine by the end of 2021 and that 70% of the world would need to be vaccinated by next winter to return to "normal life," according to an interview with the state-owned Turkish company Anadolu News Agency.
"We want to produce more than 1 billion cans with Pfizer next year. We have to distribute them in over 80 countries," he was quoted as saying. "It's not easy. Vaccines are made in complex ways. We'll be working with other companies again," he added.
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"If we can go ahead with our capacity increase plans, we can publish them in January or February. I think we can increase them. We don't have a guaranteed plan yet."
Ankara has agreed to purchase 4.5 million doses of the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine, with the option to source an additional 30 million doses later.
Sahin, the son of a Turkish immigrant to Germany, said Anadolu BioNTech is in talks with the state scientific agency Tubitak in Turkey and intends to deliver the 30 million doses to the country by the end of 2021.
"It is a great pleasure to be able to help people in Turkey," Sahin was quoted by Anadolu as saying.
"We also want to do research in Turkey. We have talks with Tubitak, we have started working with some professors at universities. We want to open a branch of the BioNTech company in Turkey," he said, hoping to be able to start clinical work on cancer research in the country in summer 2021.
Turkey has also agreed to buy 50 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine CoronaVac, and an initial shipment of 3 million doses of CoronaVac arrives on Monday.
(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
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