BioNTech SE said Thursday it has broken ground on the construction of the first mRNA manufacturing facility in Africa, a plant in Kigali, Rwanda that is expected to employ about 100 workers by 2024. The first of two BioNTainers are expected to be delivered by year-end and the company’s malaria vaccine candidate is expected to enter its first in-human trial later in 2022. “The company expects to set up additional factories in Senegal and South Africa in close coordination with its partners in the respective countries,” BioNTech said in a statement. “The initial site will become a node in a decentralized and robust African end-to-end manufacturing network. All vaccines to be manufactured in the network will be dedicated to people residing in member states of the African Union. Shares of BioNTech, which co-developed the first approved mRNA-based vaccine against COVID with partner Pfizer Inc. , were up 1.1% premarket, but have fallen 52% in the year to date, while the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF has fallen 35% and the S&P 500 has fallen 21%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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