Fosun Pharma to buy 100 million doses of BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for mainland China

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a medical syringe and a small bottle labeled "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine
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(Reuters) -Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd on Wednesday said it will buy at least 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from Germany's BioNTech SE for use in mainland China next year, if the vaccine receives approval.

The Chinese government has not announced supply deals with Western drugmakers, which instead have partnered local firms.

Fosun said it will be entitled to 60% of annual gross profit from sales of doses that it will make from imported bulk ingredients, and 65% of profit from sales of doses imported ready for use.

For the initial supply of 50 million doses, Fosun will make an advance payment to BioNTech of 250 million euros ($303.80 million) - half by Dec. 30 and the remainder after regulatory approval - the firm said in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing.

The vaccine developed by BioNTech and U.S. partner Pfizer Inc has been administered to the public in Britain and the United States, and has received emergency-use approval in several other countries.

China has granted emergency-use status to two candidate vaccines from state-backed Sinopharm and one from Sinovac Biotech Ltd. It has approved a fourth, from CanSino Biologics Inc, for military use.

Separately, Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Co Ltd aims to have enough capacity to produce at least 100 million doses of a vaccine candidate from British partner AstraZeneca PLC by year-end.

Late on Tuesday, Tibet Rhodiola Pharmaceutical Holding Co said it has agreed to double the supply of the Sputnik-V vaccine to its Russian home. It now aims to make enough doses for at least 40 million Russians next year.

Fosun Pharma has brought two BioNTech candidate COVID-19 vaccines into clinical trials in China and is yet to receive regulatory approval for either.

($1 = 0.8229 euros)

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu in Beijing and Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Christopher Cushing)