Moderna adds 155 jobs as it doubles vaccine production capacity
Moderna will create 155 positions at its Norwood, Massachusetts facility in the US. Through the addition of the new roles, the total headcount of the company will rise to approximately 1,500 staff, globally.
According to the company, it has almost doubled the size of its workforce over the last year, after widespread uptake of its coronavirus vaccine.
The decision to increase staffing levels at the Norwood facility was taken alongside the tax incentive program provided by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which is granted to companies working in life science research and development.
The aim of the program is to provide long-term jobs in the state, which saw Moderna committing to retain the 155 new roles through to 2025.
A spokesperson for Moderna told BioPharma-Reporter that it currently employs approximately 800 full time staff at its Norwood site, which it expects to reach 1,200 by the end of the year.
Hiring part of global production push
The expansion in the number of staff is directly linked to Moderna’s efforts to increase production that was announced at the beginning of May this year.
Moderna stated that it would more than double the size of its Norwood site to 650,000-square-feet of production and lab space. The investment was taken to expand commercial and clinical activities, with the company expecting to increase production of its COVID-19 vaccine up to 50% by late 2021 and early 2022.
As a result of the expansion, Moderna estimates it will have a global capacity of up to three billion doses of its vaccine in 2022. At present, the company projects being able to reach production levels of between 800 million and 1 billion doses in 2021.
The aim to increase production was further supported by the plans announced in April this year to increase its manufacturing capacity globally through its partnerships. This saw the company state that it would double drug substance manufacturing through its partnership with Lonza and double formulation, fill and finish and drug substance manufacturing with Rovi.
Alongside the push to increase production capacity, Moderna has also been investing in its technical development capacity and preclinical production capacity.
Moderna announced that the preclinical samples will be used to for research and development purposes, while the technical focus will be on the potential extension of shelf-life stability and additional pharmaceutical delivery forms, such as prefilled syringes and lyophilised products.