US firm constructs vaccine manufacturing plant in Botswana

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

United States-based biotech company NantWorks has partnered with the Botswana government to establish a vaccine manufacturing plant in the southern African country.

Speaking during a ceremony to launch the construction of the plant late Monday, NantWorks founder and chief executive Patrick Soon-Shiong said his company planned to develop COVID-19 vaccines that kill the virus in the body to stop transmission and overcome every variants rather than the ones that only generate antibodies that block the virus. 

He releveled that NantBotswana would work hand-in-hand with the Botswana Baylor Children’s Clinic on the shared goal of building global pharmaceutical production capacity with the introduction of the Corbevax vaccine.

Corbevax, which doesn’t carry a patent, was developed by the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine and Dynavax Technologies Corp. 

It is a recombinant protein-based vaccine and is now being used in India, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Soon-Shiong donated 100 million doses of Corbevax vaccine to Botswana.

According to Soon-Shiong, the NantBotswana vaccine manufacturing plant would not only focus on addressing the COVID-19 challenges but also other ailments such as cancer.


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