Evonik is helping to accelerate the production of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech by suppling lipids. The company is now delivering the first batches of lipids for the mRNA-based vaccine to BioNTech, reportedly months earlier than planned. Specialists at Evonik’s Hanau site had set up the lipid production in eight weeks, meeting requirements for the component.
"Setting up production at this speed is a great achievement," said 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."
Evonik produces two different lipids for the Pfizer-BioNTech 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, where the mRNA is released to allow the vaccine to take effect.
"This is a complex production process that only a few in the world master," said Dr Thomas Riermeier, head of Evonik's Health Care business line. "We're demonstrating once more that Evonik is a superior and reliable partner for the pharmaceutical industry, far beyond COVID-19."