BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical said its subsidiary has agreed to provide a factory with an annual capacity to make up to 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech.
This marks a step closer for China to have localized manufacturing capability for the German firm's vaccine. Five domestically-developed COVID-19 vaccines are being used in the country, while no foreign ones have gained regulatory approval.
BioNTech, which is also partnering with Pfizer to produce and distribute the vaccine in markets outside China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, said last month that it expects to win approval from the Chinese health authority "by July at the latest" for the product.
The factory is part of a joint venture between Fosun Pharmaceutical Industrial and BioNTech, in which the two companies will hold 50% stake each, Shanghai Fosun Pharma said in a filing on Sunday.
BioNTech has agreed to license relevant manufacturing technology and know-how to the JV with Fosun, the filing said.
(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; editing by David Evans)