Evonik Delivers Lipids to BioNTech Early

23.04.2021 - German specialty chemicals producer Evonik delivered the first batches of lipids for BioNTech’s mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine on Apr. 22, months earlier than planned. Deliveries were expected to start in mid-2021 but the company said it was able to set up production in just eight weeks at its complex in Hanau, Germany, and meet the high-quality requirements for the component.

Lipids are an essential component of the mRNA vaccines and have been in short supply worldwide. As part of its strategic partnership with BioNTech for the Covid vaccine, Evonik produces two different lipids. Together with other lipids, they encapsulate to form a lipid nanoparticle (LNP), which serves as a protective shell around the mRNA to transport it.

"This is a complex production process that only a few in the world master," said 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."

Increasing lipid production in Germany will also allow Evonik to further accelerate the manufacturing of larger quantities of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and contribute to the fight against the pandemic, added CEO Christian Kullmann.

Across the entire value chain, Evonik said its Health Care business assumes a leading position as an integrated solutions provider for the pharmaceutical industry. This includes the marketing of special pharmaceutical excipients such as lipids, development of formulations (the combination of excipients and active ingredients) and production of clinical test samples as well as commercial volumes.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist