Pfizer said it is in talks to move more of its medicine production to outside contractors as it prepares for large-scale production of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, should it prove safe and effective, CNBC reported.
The drugmaker contacted its network of around 200 outside contractors, which includes Catalent and Lonza Group, to play a bigger role in producing some of its existing medicines, said Mike McDermott, president of global supply at Pfizer.
He added that the move, which will cost the company $150 million, will help Pfizer shift a portion of production at four of its vaccine manufacturing facilities toward the COVID-19 vaccine while preventing disruptions in supply of its other products.
Pfizer and BioNTech said recently that they had begun delivering doses of their coronavirus vaccine candidates for initial human testing in the US, while trials in Germany have already begun.
If successful, Pfizer said it hopes to receive emergency use authorisation from the FDA as early as October, adding that it could distribute up to 20 million doses by the end of 2020, and potentially hundreds of millions next year.