Everest Medicines begins production at its new $129M+ mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in China
The China-based biotech Everest Medicines has opened the doors to a new manufacturing facility to produce mRNA-based vaccines.
Everest’s new facility, which is located just to the west of Shanghai in Jiashan, Zhejiang Province, is around 58,000 square meters, or an estimated 624,306 square feet, and had an investment of more than RMB 900 million ($129 million). The manufacturing facility plans to produce around 700 million doses of mRNA vaccine annually.
One of the catalysts behind the new facility is Everest reaching a “comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement” with Canada-based Providence Therapeutics in September of last year to help advance Providence’s mRNA vaccines and therapies. Currently, Everest is developing an Omicron-based bivalent booster candidate for Covid-19 and is planning to start clinical trials in China next year. Everest also plans to develop other vaccines against other infectious diseases and even cancers with the mRNA platform as well.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is still raging globally, and the evolving variants bring significant challenges. We are actively advancing the development of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to better protect people’s health and support China’s national public policy. The startup of our mRNA vaccine factory is a key step in our strategic goal of having a complete industrial value chain of research, clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization” said Rogers Yongqing Luo, Everest’s CEO, in a statement.
For Everest and Providence, the opening comes at a time when they are seeing some success in Covid-19. In October, Everest said that Providence’s candidate, called PTX-COVID19-B, was non-inferior to Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty shot in a Phase II trial comparing the vaccines in 18- to 64-year-olds in Canada and South Africa. The results from the study were observed two weeks after the second injection, at which point it was found that the inoculation met the criteria for non-inferiority regarding the geometric mean titer ratio of neutralizing antibodies.
The original deal between Everest and Providence saw the Canadian biotech get $100 million upfront in cash, combined with an additional up to $400 million in profit-sharing on the Covid-19 vaccines and milestone payments on collaborative and additional products. In turn, Everest received the rights to the vaccines in several markets in Asia including China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.