Moderna and the UK government have entered a ten-year strategic collaboration to build a messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) research, development and manufacturing facility in the country. 

The latest development comes after the parties announced an agreement in principle in June this year.

This Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre (MITC) is expected to offer access to a locally produced future mRNA vaccine portfolio against respiratory viruses, subject to regulatory evaluation and licensure.

The vaccine manufacturing facility will also offer National Health Service (NHS) patients access to the company’s Covid-19 vaccines that can provide protection against various variants. 

Additionally, the centre is anticipated to have to capacity to make up to 250 million doses of vaccines per year.

To back the UK in its international efforts as part of the country’s “100 Days Mission” to lower the future pandemics’ impact, the MITC would offer direct access to pandemic response expertise.

Under the collaboration, the company will also back the mRNA health and science ecosystem of the country.

Planned to be operational by 2025, the construction of the facility is anticipated to begin early next year.

This construction is planned to create over 150 highly skilled jobs.

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said: “Our new state-of-the-art facility will bring mRNA manufacturing to UK shores, providing the UK public with access to pandemic response capabilities through Moderna Covid-19 vaccines and future respiratory virus vaccine candidates. 

“We look forward to being part of the UK’s world-renowned science and innovation community, contributing to the UK health ecosystem through significant investments in R&D activities and expanding our clinical trial footprint across the country.”

In October this year, the company signed an agreement with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to supply Covid-19 vaccines to lower-income countries backed by the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment.

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

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