TAIWAN — Germany’s BioNTech is planning to set up a clinical trial hub in Taiwan for mRNA-based cancer immunotherapies as part of its Asia-Pacific expansion, according to Taipei Times.

The is to partner with BioNTech to develop mRNA-based cancer immunotherapies

In a separate statement, the German biotech firm, which developed a widely used mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, said it would collaborate with Yonglin Healthcare Foundation Yonglin after signing a memorandum of understanding with Retain Biotech Corp.

According to the memorandum of understanding, Retain will support the clinical evaluation of BNT113 in a randomized phase two clinical trial across the region.

Retain Biotech, a Taiwan-based company sponsored by the foundation, is involved in precision and genomic medicine, as well as cell therapy for cancer treatment, BioNTech said.

Gou stated that the German company has established an office in Taiwan to conduct an initial evaluation of its cancer product candidate, BNT113, which is aimed at treating head and neck cancers.

Taiwan is expected to participate in the development of mRNA-based cancer immunotherapy by BioNTech, said Terry Gou founder of the foundation and manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry.

BioNTech stated that BNT113 will be the first of several novel cancer immunotherapies that it plans to test in the region.

BioNTech also announced the acquisition of a GMP-certified manufacturing facility in Singapore in November 2022 to support R&D and potential launch activities for product candidates across the Asia-Pacific region, with the potential to expand production beyond mRNA, such as cell therapies.

Furthermore, BioNTech announced plans to establish a clinical-scale end-to-end mRNA manufacturing facility in Melbourne, Australia based on its BioNTainer solution, with the goal of increasing access to mRNA technology and promoting research collaborations in the Asia-Pacific region.

BioNTech has already established subsidiaries in Singapore, Shanghai, and Melbourne, as well as registered a representative office in Taipei, which BioNTech aims to serve as regional innovation hubs as part of the Company’s global network.

BioNTech chief business officer Sean Marett said his company’s goal with the Retain agreement was to accelerate the development of innovative therapies to help address cancers, which have been highly prevalent in the region.

BioNTech said it planned to evaluate BNT113 in the broader Asia-Pacific region starting with clinical trials in Taiwan and in Australia’s Victoria state.

It will also assess the expansion of clinical activities to Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and other economies in the region for cancer-related therapies, which already encompasses 18 product candidates in 23 ongoing clinical trials.

Meanwhile, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group has been granted formal approval from the Hong Kong government to market BioNTech’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccines for which Fosun Pharma is the exclusive China distributor.

The vaccines will now be available at hospitals and clinics in Hong Kong and those who wish to be inoculated should first obtain a prescription from a doctor, the Shanghai-based drugmaker added.

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