Dessau-based company to now fill AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine – Merz Pharma is foregoing capacities at short notice

Blog Post Date: Montag 19 April 2021

German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn and the Prime Minister of the German State of Saxony-Anhalt Reiner Haseloff visited IDT Biologika today to find out about the latest advances in the production of COVID-19 vaccines. One reason for the visit was the laying of the foundation stone for a new production building last week. The AstraZeneca active ingredient is to be manufactured there from the beginning of 2023, among other products, as part of a planned strategic cooperation.

On this occasion, the Dessau-based company announced that it will now also bottle AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine at short notice. To make this possible, customer Merz Pharma will release capacity that has already been booked for three months in the course of the second quarter. A volume of at least ten million vaccine doses is planned.

On March 15, IDT Biologika, Johnson & Johnson and Japanese company Takeda had already announced that Tadeka would forego previously booked capacity in favor of filling the American J&J COVID-19 vaccine for the next three months. IDT shipped the first vaccine doses from this collaboration to the client this week.

In parallel, the Dessau-based company is working with the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) to develop its own COVID vaccine. After a delay due to a protective effect still below expectations, this project will now enter clinical phase II in May.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said: „Vector vaccines will continue to play an important role in the federal government’s vaccination strategy. IDT’s cooperation with several vaccine manufacturers helps. The more vaccines are manufactured and bottled in Germany and Europe, the better we can protect the population.“

„The State of Saxony-Anhalt has accompanied and promoted the corporate development at IDT Biologika for many years,“ said Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff. „IDT is one of the leading companies in vaccine production and research. A chapter of the success story of Aufbau Ost (Development of Eastern Germany) is being written here. I am particularly pleased that with IDT from Saxony-Anhalt we can make a contribution in the fight against Corona.“

IDT’s CEO Jürgen Betzing added: „We are pleased and quite proud that our company can now contribute to the acute and prospective supply of vaccines on three levels in the context of the pandemic. We are keeping a promise that we made at the vaccination summit on February 1st: to provide production capacities at short notice through creative and intelligent solutions. My thanks go to our long-standing customers Merz and Takeda, without whose support this success would not have been possible.“