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2 minute read - 24th June 2022

Moderna to build vaccine manufacturing & research centre

Moderna has announced plans to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing and research and development centre in the UK, following an agreement with the British government.

The new mRNA innovation and technology centre will develop cutting-edge mRNA vaccines for a wide range of respiratory diseases, including Covid-19 vaccines that can protect against multiple variants, helping to future-proof the UK against potential emerging health threats.

The pharmaceutical company will also open a large-scale mRNA manufacturing centre, which will offer UK patients guaranteed access to Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine and the ability to produce jabs targeting a range of other illnesses, such as flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), ensuring NHS patients can access the latest advancements in vaccine technology quickly and providing a consistent homemade supply for the UK. It is anticipated the new facility will lead to job creation.

Moderna is to build a vaccine research and manufacturing centre in the UK. Construction is expected to start this year, with the first vaccine due to be produced in 2025 / Picture: Getty/iStock

Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, said: “We are excited to be able to continue our collaboration with the UK government and Vaccine Taskforce with this new mRNA innovation and technology centre in the UK. The UK has established a world-class life sciences and research community. 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.”

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid, added: “Our new partnership with Moderna will cement the UK’s status as a science superpower, significantly boosting the economy and creating jobs – and it has the potential to unlock the next generation of cutting-edge vaccines to fight diseases such as Covid-19, seasonal flu and RSV. mRNA is a truly transformational technology and we have seen its life-saving power during the pandemic.

“Thanks to this new deal, NHS patients will benefit from scientific breakthroughs and the new state-of-the-art manufacturing centre will boost our ability to respond to the next pandemic by ensuring we’re able to produce vaccines rapidly on our own shores.”

The centre will be able to scale up production rapidly in the event of a health emergency, significantly boosting the UK’s ability to respond to future pandemics. Construction is expected to commence as early as this year, with the first mRNA vaccine due to be produced in the UK in 2025.

Moderna plans to expand its presence in the UK through investments in research and development and will deliver a large share of its clinical trials in the UK. The government has invested £395m to secure and scale up the UK’s vaccine manufacturing capabilities since the beginning of the pandemic and says it plans to invest further alongside industry to strengthen the country’s domestic vaccine resilience.

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