Moderna to secure a UK presence with $1B+ in new manufacturing and R&D facilities
As Moderna keeps up the fight against Covid-19, recently winning authorization in the US for children under the age of five, the company is also looking to make a serious investment in the UK.
According to the UK government, Moderna will be looking to establish a vaccine research center and a manufacturing site for a series of vaccines.
Moderna will establish this new mRNA Innovation and Technology Centre to develop mRNA vaccines for a wide range of respiratory diseases, including Covid-19.
For the manufacturing of the vaccines, the company will open a large-scale mRNA manufacturing center which will manufacture their Covid-19 vaccine and other vaccines for flu and RSV. Construction is expected to start as early as this year, with the first vaccines due to be produced in 2025.
While there is no confirmation on the size, cost or even the location of the new facility, and inquiries from Endpoints News to Moderna have not been answered, the Financial Times said the facility could be located anywhere between London, Oxford and Cambridge, dubbed the “Golden Triangle.”
The FT said the site will manufacture up to 250 million doses per year, including some for export, and the deal, which will last 10 years, will be finalized this summer and be worth 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion).
“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. We look forward to establishing our research and development activities and capabilities in the country,” said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel.
The UK has been anxious to seek support from the big pharma players as it looks to carve out a special place for the Golden Triangle. R&D also runs deep in the UK as it does offer some key attractions to drug and vaccine developers, as well as a large and notable scientific community.
However, the UK is not the only country that Moderna is looking to set up shop for vaccine manufacturing. The company is investing 530 million euros ($560 million) in Spain through its manufacturing partnership with ROVI and is establishing manufacturing capabilities in Australia and Canada.