Mfg News: AstraZeneca, Moderna, BioNTech & More
A roundup of manufacturing news from AstraZeneca, Moderna, BioNTech, and Galapagos. Highlights below
* AstraZeneca Adding Mfg Base, Regional HQ in Qingdao, China
* Moderna To Establish mRNA Mfg Facility in UK
* BioNTech Breaks Ground on mRNA Vaccine Mfg Facility in Africa
* Galapagos To Acquire Cellpoint, AboundBio for Cell-Therapy Mfg & Development
AstraZeneca Adding Mfg Base, Regional HQ in Qingdao, China
AstraZeneca has announced plans to construct a production and supply base and a regional headquarters in Qingdao, Shandong, China.
AstraZeneca signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with the Qingdao High-tech Zone for plans to construct an inhalation aerosol production and supply base for a drug for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The drug was approved by China’s National Medical Products Administration in 2020 and will be included in China’s National Medical Insurance Drug List. The production site will be the largest in China for the company after its production and supply bases in Wuxi and Taizhou, Jiangsu, China.
In addition, AstraZeneca and the Qingdao Municipal Government signed a memorandum of cooperation to announce the establishment of AstraZeneca’s China regional headquarters in Qingdao, an innovation center focused on rare diseases, a life-science innovation park, and an industrial fund to support those efforts.
Moderna To Establish mRNA Mfg Facility in UK
Moderna has formed an agreement in principle with the UK government to establish an mRNA Innovation and Technology Center in the UK to enable rapid pandemic response capabilities for domestically manufactured vaccines in the US and for respiratory virus vaccine candidates.
The facility would produce mRNA vaccines, including vaccines against COVID-19, seasonal influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and other vaccines. Additionaelly, Moderna plans to expand its presence in the UK through investments in research and development.
BioNTech Breaks Ground on mRNA Vaccine Mfg Facility in Africa
BioNTech has started construction for a mRNA modular manufacturing facility in Kigali, Rwanda, as part of an overall plan to provide mRNA manufacturing capacity in Africa.
The facility will use the company’s BioNTainer modules, turnkey mRNA manufacturing facilities based on a container solution consisting of one drug substance and one formulation module, each called a BioNTainer.
The Rwandan facility, with a size of about 30,000 square meters, will be initially equipped with two manufacturing containers (one for the production of mRNA and one for the production of the formulated bulk drug product). The containers will be equipped to manufacture a range of mRNA-based vaccines targeted to the needs of African Union member states. The estimated initial annual capacity, for example, of Pfizer’s/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine will be about 50 million doses. The first set of manufacturing containers are targeted for delivery to the site by the end of 2022.Manufacturing at the Rwandan facility is expected to begin approximately 12 to 18 months after installation. The company expects that the facility will employ about 100 staff by 2024.
The company says it expects to set up additional factories in Senegal and South Africa in close coordination with its partners in the respective countries.
Galapagos To Acquire Cellpoint, AboundBio for Cell-Therapy Mfg & Development
Galapagos, a Mechelen, Belgium-based bio/pharmaceutical, has agreed to acquire Cellpoint, a Leiden, the Netherlands-based cell-therapy company, and AboundBio, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based bio/pharmaceutical company, to add cell-therapy development and manufacturing capabilities.
In collaboration with Lonza, CellPoint developed a scalable, decentralized and automated point-of-care supply model to enable seven-day delivery of chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T) therapies. AboundBio provides a human antibody-based library and biological drug discovery.
Under the agreements, Galapagos has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of CellPoint and AboundBio for EUR 125 million ($132 million), an additional EUR 100 million ($106 million) to be paid upon achievement of certain milestones, and inclusive of a payment of $14 million to AboundBio.