- Availability of COVID-19 vaccine to increase significantly
- Lipids are an essential component of mRNA-based vaccines
- Full production ramp-up at Hanau site, Germany, within just eight weeks
Essen, Germany. 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 the urgently needed lipids for the mRNA-based vaccine to BioNTech months earlier than planned. Specialists at Evonik’s Hanau site had set up the lipid production in just eight weeks, meeting the high-quality requirements for the component. Initially, delivery was scheduled to start in the middle of the year.
"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.
"This is a complex production process that only a few in the world master," says 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."
Evonik’s Health Care business line has been characterized by strong growth and high innovation power for many years. Across the entire value chain, Health Care assumes a leading position as an integrated solutions provider for the pharmaceutical industry. This includes the marketing of special pharmaceutical excipients such as lipids, the development of formulations, i.e. the combination of excipients and active ingredients, as well as the production of clinical test samples, and the production of commercial quantities.
Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €12.2 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €1.91 billion in 2020. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. More than 33,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.
About Nutrition & Care
The focus of the business of the Nutrition & Care division is on health and quality of life. It develops differentiated solutions for active pharmaceutical ingredients, medical devices, nutrition for humans and animals, personal care, cosmetics, and household cleaning. In these resilient end markets, the division generated sales of around three billion euros in 2020 with about 5,300 employees.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.