Moderna CEO looks to Japan for building new vaccine manufacturing site
While Moderna has been focused on building out its manufacturing apparatus in North America, Europe and Africa, the company appears to be turning toward Japan for its next act.
According to a report from Nikkei Asia, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said the company would like to build a facility in Japan as well as centralize all processes, including manufacturing, into a single facility.
While no other details on the manufacturing site were offered, such as location and timing, Bancel said the site would ideally manufacture vaccines for Covid-19, flu and other diseases. Endpoints News reached out to Moderna to get more details on the matter but they did not respond by press time.
Bancel said any construction in Japan would be based on “having a contract for a set period of time (for vaccine purchases).” Nikkei Asia noted that Bancel is seeking a 10-year agreement between Moderna and the Japanese government, similar to other contracts the company has netted across the world.
Moderna has been active in Japan in the past, securing supply agreements with the government this year to supply more vaccines for the latter half of the year. The company also transferred marketing authorization for its vaccine to Takeda for distribution support on the island.
If the comment proves true, Japan would be the latest in a string of countries where Moderna is looking to establish more manufacturing presence. In June, the UK government announced Moderna will be looking to establish a vaccine research center and a manufacturing site for a series of vaccines to the tune of $1 billion.
Earlier this year, the company also chose Kenya as the country where it will establish manufacturing operations in Africa, with plans to invest $500 million in a new vaccine manufacturing site in the country.
Moderna’s rivals are also expanding, as Pfizer is looking to pump millions into its vaccine R&D and manufacturing site in Pearl River, NY, while in June, BioNTech broke ground on a vaccine manufacturing site in Kigali, Rwanda.