Reject the proposal to temporarily cancel certain intellectual property rights supported by the United States
Berlin- BioNTech insisted on Monday that the Covid-19 vaccine does not need to go beyond patent protection because the manufacturer will be able to produce enough doses to supply the world in the coming year.
Ugur Sahin, the CEO of a German pharmaceutical company, rejected a US-backed proposal to temporarily lift certain intellectual property rights to increase the global supply of vaccines during the ongoing pandemic.
In a conference call with investors, he announced that the company’s net profit for the first quarter was 1.130 billion euros ($1.370 billion). Sahin said that BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer have pre-distributed vaccines to more than 90 countries. And more than double the estimated production capacity for that year.
Sahin explained: “By 2021, we have increased the production capacity to 3 billion doses, and more than 40% of the doses are expected to reach low- and middle-income countries.”
He said that relaxing patent protection will not solve the supply shortage in the coming months, citing the complexity of his company’s development of mRNA-based vaccines last year.
Sahin added that the company is working to further expand its manufacturing network at its own facilities (such as those planned to be established in Singapore), and through cooperation with other manufacturers to ensure product quality while increasing supply. But he also pointed out that competitor manufacturers are already using their own vaccines on the market or in production.