The American pharmaceutical heavyweight has unveiled its plans to set up an Innovation and Technology Center focusing on the development of mRNA vaccines. The developed vaccines will range from the vaccine for influenza, COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), etc.
Moderna was able to sign an agreement with the UK Government to set up this top of the line vaccine manufacturing facility. The facility will develop mRNA vaccines for different respiratory viruses.
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel expressed that the company is excited to continue working with the governement of UK and continue advancement in their Innovation and Technlogy Centre. Bancel stressed that Moderna pledges to keep working on worldwide healthcare. Through the Innovation and Technology Centre the company will continue on its path to expand its R&D.
The agreement with the UK government is expected to materialize into over a $1 billion R&D investment, with the facility having the capability to produce up to 250 million vaccines annually.
He stated: “We are committed to global public health, and as we continue to expand internationally, we are pleased to bring local mRNA manufacturing to the UK,” further adding that, “We look forward to establishing our R&D activities and capabilities in the country.”
The vaccine manufacturing facility is looking to boast a manufacturing facility in the UK that is state-of the art, which will bring top-class local mRNA vaccine development. The mRNA vaccines produced at the center will include respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) COVID-19, and even flu.
As part of the company’s ‘100 Days Mission’ the facility will be activated on a priority basis. This is to equip the UK with a rapid pandemic response and ensure increased capabilities for furture pandemics, mitigating the possible devastating effects.
The manufacturing facility will likely be producing vaccine shots in the next 3 years while Britain has made a commitment to Moderna to purchase the company’s produced vaccines for the next 10 years.
The Health minister of Britain hoped that the technology used at the facility could be used to tackle other challenging areas of therapy, such a cancer and heart disease. Britain is set to receive 60M COVID-19 vaccine doses by Moderna in this year and the coming year.
Moderna is also made public its plans to continue growing its presence in the UK. The company is looking to invest in R&D in this regard. Most prominently, Moderna is working on a Phase III study to evaluate the company’s Omicron booster candidate, with National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Moderna CEO states that a variant-specific COVID-19 booster is expected to hit the market by August.
Moderna has achieved considerable success due to its COVID-19 vaccine being among the first to be approved and have a high efficacy. With this success, the company has been making a global effort to expand in terms of manufacturing with plans for facilities in Canada, Kenya, Australia as well as the UK.
The location of th facility in the UK had not yet been finalized but a company representative stated that construction should begin within this year.