BERLIN (Reuters) – Global supply chains for making COVID-19 vaccines have been disrupted by U.S. restrictions, creating headaches for companies seeking to build production in Europe, according to one of the founders of Germany’s Curevac.
Florian von der Muelbe said in a newspaper interview that he was hopeful Curevac’s vaccine candidate would win emergency European approval this quarter and confirmed a forecast that it would produce 300 million doses this year.
He added, however, that vaccine makers seeking to build production in Europe were at a serious disadvantage because suppliers in the United States were required under the Defense Production Act to meet the needs of the home market first.
“Global supply chains are disrupted,” von der Muelbe, now Curevac’s chief production officer, told the Rheinische Post in an interview published on Wednesday.
“Be it chemicals, equipment, filters or hoses: U.S. manufacturers are obliged first to meet American demand, and that means we are slipping down the list.”
Curevac is already producing its vaccine candidate, which is based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, at its plant in Tuebingen, Germany.
It has just struck a partnership with Swiss contract manufacturer Celonic Group, adding to earlier alliances with Novartis AG, Bayer AG, Fareva, Wacker and Rentschler Biopharma SE.
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