Moderna to build mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Canada

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Moderna Canada Australia

Moderna has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Canada to build a mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in the country: which could serve as a model for similar partnerships around the world.

Moderna says it is already in discussions with other governments about such collaborations: and a facility in Australia could be next in line.   

Vaccines for COVID-19 and beyond

The new Canadian facility will manufacture a portfolio of mRNA vaccines against respiratory viruses. Such vaccines will include those against COVID-19, seasonal influenza, RSV and other potential vaccines in development. It will also be ready to leap into action on an urgent basis as a rapid pandemic response facility. The amount of investment or capacity of the new facility has not been disclosed at this stage.

“I would like to thank the Government of Canada for the partnership they have built with us and for their faith in our data, science and early confidence in our mRNA platform in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic," ​said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna.

"We recently announced data from the final analysis of the Phase 3 COVE study demonstrating that vaccination with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine showed 93% efficacy, with this efficacy remaining durable six months after administration of the second dose.​ 

“As a company, we are committed to global public health. While we are still responding to this pandemic, we also want to ensure we and society learn from it. As Moderna expands internationally, we are delighted to bring mRNA manufacturing to Canada. We believe that this innovative business model will have global impact and implications.

Growing capacity

Moderna’s COVID-19 dose capacity is between 800 million and 1 billion doses for 2021; with this rising to 2 billion to 3 billion doses in 2022 (this figure will be subject to the dose level required for potential booster shots).

Moderna’s current manufacturing footprint is based on its Norwood, Massachusetts facility in the US; alongside partnerships with companies such as Catalent, Lonza, Baxter and Sanofi in the US; and with companies such as Samsung Biologics, Recipharm, Rovi and Lonza globally.    

In May, it announced plans for expansion at Norwood: which will result in a 50% increase in production across late 2021 and early 2022. This expansion includes increasing production and lab space from approximately 300,000 square feet to approximately 650,000 square feet through renovation of existing space and acquisition of a 240,000 square foot building located on the same campus for expansion of its commercial and clinical activities.

Moderna confirmed this week that it is still in discussions with the Australian government about establishing local mRNA manufacturing capabilities in the country, while Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) granted provisional registration to the vaccine this week. The Australian government has 10 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine on order for 2021, with the option to procure 15 million doses in 2022.

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