Pfizer, Biovac collaboration major boost for SA’s mRNA tech ambitions – Nzimande

Minister Blade Nzimande's remarks followed an announcement that biopharmaceutical company, Biovac has clinched a deal with Pfizer/BioNTech to locally complete the production of its 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

FILE: Higher Education, Science, and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN – Higher Education, Science, and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande has said that the collaboration with pharmaceutical company Pfizer was a major boost for South Africa’s mRNA technology production ambitions.

His remarks followed an announcement that biopharmaceutical company, Biovac had clinched a deal with Pfizer/BioNTech to locally complete the production of its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

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Biovac has commenced technical transfer activities, which include on-site development and equipment installation activities for the production at its Cape Town plant.

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Nzimande said that government has also concluded another tech transfer for Pfizer’s pneumococcal bacteria jab – Prevnar 13.

The World Health Organization last month announced in collaboration with the French government, that South Africa was set to host the messenger RNA Technology Transfer Hub – the continent's first COVID-19 vaccine production facility.

Nzimande’s spokesperson, Ishmael Mnisi said: “Our primary goal has always been, through Biovac, to ensure that South Africa and Africa become active participants in global vaccination manufacturing value chain.”

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