Words by GOLD newsdesk
Moderna is to establish a state-of-the-art mRNA Innovation and Technology Centre in the UK in a move that’s gained widespread acclaim across the pharmaceutical industry.
After an agreement in principle with the UK government, the facility is expected to provide access to Moderna's respiratory virus vaccine candidates – such as COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – and rapid pandemic response capabilities as part of the UK’s ‘100 Days Mission’. Moderna will also expand its presence in the UK through investments R&D activities, including the delivery of a large share of its clinical trials.
“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,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer, Moderna. “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 R&D activities and capabilities in the country.”
Construction is expected to commence later in 2022, with the first mRNA vaccine due to be produced in the UK in 2025.
Welcoming the announcement, Richard Torbett, Chief Executive, ABPI, commented: “Today’s announcement is brilliant news for the future of vaccine science, R&D and manufacturing in the UK… Our response to the COVID pandemic underlined the importance of this long-term investment to our health and economic security. The new mRNA Innovation and Technology Centre provides a huge boost to how we can respond to future pandemics and to UK science and research.”
His sentiments were echoed by Steve Bates, Chief Executive, BioIndustry Association, who added: “UK innovators look forward to welcoming the Moderna team into our collaborative and capable community.”