Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Swiss drugmaker Novartis has signed an initial agreement to provide manufacturing capacity for Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, a move aimed at helping boost production as supplies fall shy of demand.

Subject to reaching a final agreement, Novartis plans to commence production in the second quarter of 2021, the Basel-based company said on Friday, adding it would use manufacturing facilities at its site in Stein, Switzerland, near the Rhine River on the German border.

Three vaccines from Western companies Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna have been approved by regulators, but limited production and delayed deliveries have hampered efforts to quickly vaccinate people most at risk for COVID-19.

Story continues below advertisement

Novartis’s announcement that it was joining the push to remedy the shortfall follows a move by Sanofi this week to work with BioNTech to supply 125 million doses of its mRNA vaccine to the European Union.

“Novartis has been mobilizing on multiple fronts to support the global pandemic response,” said Steffen Lang, head of Novartis Technical Operations.

Novartis, which did not give specifics on how much drug substance it would produce for Pfizer-BioNTech if the deal goes through, added it is in “advanced discussions” with additional companies to take on production of mRNA, therapeutic protein and other raw materials for vaccines and therapeutics.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies