The companies reached a new production agreement that will leave Novartis responsible for fill-and-finish operations related to the mRNA-based vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech.
Under the agreement, Novartis will produce at least 24 million doses of the vaccine in 2022 in its facilities in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
This year, Novartis had an agreement for the fill and finish of more than 50 million doses.
For the agreement pertaining to 2022, Novartis intends to obtain bulk mRNA from BioNTech to fill into vials under sterile conditions. The company will return the vaccine doses to BioNTech for distribution.
In related news, Pfizer recently announced data from a Phase 3 study, which found that a booster dose of its vaccine was 95.6% effective against COVID-19 in a period when the Delta strain was prominent. The company judged relative efficacy by comparing the results to individuals who received two doses but not a booster.
The study involved more than 10,000 volunteers 16 and older.
“These results provide further evidence of the benefits of boosters as we aim to keep people well-protected against this disease,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO, in a statement.
“These important data add to the body of evidence suggesting that a booster dose of our vaccine can help protect a broad population of people from this virus and its variants,” said Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech, in a statement.