Moderna Ups EU Supply of COVID-19 Vaccine; Updates Mfg and Staffing

Moderna, a bio/pharmaceutical company developing messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, reports that the European Commission has purchased an additional 150 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. Also, the company provided an update of recent manufacturing and lab expansions and increases in staffing.

Additional purchase order from the EU

Moderna reports that the European Commission has purchased an additional 150 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, including the ability to purchase other COVID-19 vaccine candidates from Moderna’s pipeline. This purchase brings the European Commission’s confirmed order commitment to 460 million doses.

Under the agreement, delivery of Moderna’s updated variant booster vaccine candidate will begin in 2022. Purchase under this agreement is subject to regulatory approval of the booster vaccine candidates by the European Medicines Agency.

Moderna says it remains on track to meet its quarterly delivery commitments to the European Union in 2021 as the company continues to build out its supply chain in Europe.

Expansion updates

Moderna recently announced an expansion of its technology center in Norwood, Massachusetts by more than doubling production and lab space. The expansion includes increasing the company’s production and lab space from approximately 300,000 square feet to approximately 650,000 square feet through renovation of existing space and the acquisition of a 240,000-square-foot building located on the same campus for expansion of its commercial and clinical activities. The expansion also includes an increase in Moderna’s technical development capacity and preclinical production capability.

The expansion will support a 50% increase in production of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected to ramp up in late 2021 and early 2022.

In April (April 2021), Moderna announced an investment at its owned and partnered manufacturing facilities to increase 2022 global capacity of its COVID-19 vaccine to up to 3 billion doses, depending upon the mix between the authorized COVID-19 vaccine at a 100-μg dose level and potentially lower doses of the company’s variant booster candidates and pediatric vaccines, if authorized.

Staffing updates

From a staffing view, Moderna reported that it nearly doubled the size of its workforce from approximately 830 employees as of March 31, 2020 to approximately 1,500 employees as of March 31, 2021. The company also created more than 650 new jobs at its manufacturing facility in Norwood, Massachusetts. The company continues to expand in Norwood and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Earlier this month (July 2021), Moderna was awarded a tax incentive from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) based on its commitment to hire 155 new full-time equivalent employees in 2021 and retaining that headcount through 2025. The MLSC Tax Incentive Program awards companies engaged in life-science research and development, commercialization, and manufacturing with the goal of creating new, long-term jobs in the state of Massachusetts.

Source: Moderna (European Union) and Moderna (manufacturing and staffing update)

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