Heidelberg, Germany, March 24th 2022 – The Federal Republic of Germany has announced its decision to sign contracts with Celonic AG and four other partners to secure the long-term supply of vaccines in Germany against Covid-19 and other pandemics. Celonic will provide the capacity and the expertise for the production of protein-based vaccines at its Heidelberg site at least until 2029. If required, production of up to 80 million doses per year can begin immediately.  Celonic will thus become an important part of pandemic preparedness in Germany.

Celonic runs state-of-the-art production facilities in Heidelberg for the clinical and commercial production of biological agents, mRNA and protein-based vaccines. Since 2020, a high double-digit million euro amount has been invested in the site. In the new 5000 m2 production facility, 250 employees can produce up to 200 vaccine batches at a 2000L scale, which would be equivalent to up to 500 million vaccine doses. As part of the pandemic preparedness project, Celonic will prepare for a potential demand in the first phase and then have the capacity ready. For this purpose, a sustainable supply chain and a comprehensive staffing and production concept for preparedness will be established, along with an appropriate high-quality technology transfer process. This will enable Celonic to ensure local, safe, and rapid production of biopharmaceuticals in Germany in the future.

 “It fills us with pride to be a significant part of the short and long-term fight against the pandemic in Germany,” says Dr Konstantin Matentzoglu, CEO of the Celonic Group. “With investments in our state-of-the-art production site in Heidelberg, we have developed an outstanding technical set-up and personnel resources in recent years to provide safe, fast, and flexible production of biopharmaceuticals. In 40 years of GMP production of biopharmaceuticals, the Celonic Group has proven that it can deliver crucial and complex production projects reliably with high quality. We are therefore pleased that the Federal Republic has further bolstered the trust shown by our customers in Celonic.”

With an eye to the future, in addition to production in Heidelberg, the company is expanding with the Rheintal Life Science Park in Stein, Switzerland. On the site, Celonic is pushing ahead with the construction of one of the largest centres for cell and gene therapy in Europe. The 8500 m2 facility will house production capacities for advanced therapies such as mRNA, viral vectors, human cells and extracellular vesicles. There, the next generation of vaccines and therapeutics will be produced starting 2023.

About the Vaccine Production Task Force of the Federal Republic of Germany

The Vaccine Production Task Force responsible for the pandemic preparedness contracts was established by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action in 2021 and has negotiated the contracts with five selected partners. Further administration and management are carried out by the Centre for Pandemic Vaccines and Therapeutics at the Paul Ehrlich Institute (ZEPAI) under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Health. The next step is to sign the pandemic preparedness contracts. Immediately afterwards, Celonic will begin the measures to prepare for the implementation of pandemic preparedness.

About Celonic 

Celonic is a premium CDMO (contract development & manufacturing organisation) for process development and production of innovative biopharmaceuticals such as biologics, mRNA and cell and gene therapy products. The company is part of the family-owned J.Rettenmaier & Söhne (JRS Group) and currently operates four production sites in Basel and Heidelberg. In 40 years of its corporate experience in GMP production, Celonic has continuously evolved from research projects to GMP production for clinical trials to commercial production of biologics and mRNA pharmaceuticals and is an internationally recognised production partner. In addition to the above-mentioned production site for biologics in Heidelberg, the other sites in Basel are engaged in the development and clinical production of next-generation therapeutics such as mRNA, viral vectors, cell therapies and extracellular vesicles. Celonic plans to manufacture these next-generation therapeutics in a state-of-the-art commercial facility near Basel.

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