Increasing vaccine capacity across EU can help in speeding up immunisation

The first pan-European matchmaking event gathers over 300 participating companies from 25 Member States

Photo: EU Vaccines production line of the company Reig Jofre in Barcelona.

The EC is hosting on Monday and Wednesday the first pan-European matchmaking event with over 300 participating companies from 25 Member States to expand COVID-19 vaccine production capacities across Europe and address production and supply chain bottlenecks. It is organised online by the EC’s Task Force for the Industrial Scale-up of COVID-19 vaccine production.

The event aims to speed up connections between vaccine producers and service companies such as contract development and manufacturing organisations, fill and finish, equipment producers and others, with a view to improve planning for current and future vaccine production in Europe.

The number and variety of players attending the matchmaking event showcases the importance of having a vibrant, competitive pharmaceutical industry in the EU, Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager commented.

According to her cooperation to combine complementary assets and increase vaccine capacity can be decisive in speeding up the vaccination of European citizens and overcoming the outbreak – for this reason, the Commission has issued an antitrust comfort letter which facilitates matchmaking between companies while protecting fair competition.

The ramp-up of vaccine production in Europe is unprecedented, both for our immediate and medium-term vaccination needs, Commissioner Thierry Breton, responsible for the Internal Market, stated. He underscored that the matchmaking event is all about fostering new connections and partnerships across the production and supply chain. The Commissioner also encouraged the many companies involved in the vaccine manufacturing process to make the most of the matchmaking opportunities.

The first day of the event is dedicated to matchmaking among manufacturing companies dealing with raw materials, manufacturing, coupling and formulation and fill and finish of vaccines.

The event’s second day on Wednesday will focus on ensuring connections with potential suppliers from across the vaccine production value chain, including companies involved in packaging, storage, shipment and distribution and production of accessories such as syringes and vials.

In order to facilitate the matchmaking, the Commission has also issued a comfort letter providing guidance on how the matchmaking and exchanges between participating companies, including direct competitors, can take place in compliance with the EU competition rules. The comfort letter is based on the Antitrust Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 8 April 2020.

 

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