Demand for¬†lipid¬†nanoparticles for mRNA vaccines¬†has driven¬†Biotage¬†to¬†open a facility at its site in Cardiff, UK.¬†¬†
The facility, of which financial details have not been disclosed, sees¬†Swedish¬†separations¬†firm¬†Biotage¬†expand its manufacturing capacity of large-scale flash columns by 300 percent,¬†specifically¬†to support companies and contract manufacturers¬†scaling-up lipid production¬†for COVID-19 vaccines.¬†¬†
‚Äú[Cardiff] is¬†our largest site with capacity and competence for complicated and advanced column filling operations¬†and¬†[it is]¬†geographically close to major customers,‚ÄĚ Tomas Blomquist¬†CEO of¬†Biotage¬†told¬†BioProcess¬†Insider.
According to the firm, the¬†shortage of raw materials for messenger RNA (mRNA)¬†vaccine manufacturing has caused a¬†bottleneck¬†effect¬†as the lipids required for¬†lipid nano particles (LNP) were not available¬†at the scale needed to produce billions of doses of vaccines for global distribution.¬†¬†
The recently opened facility will¬†support¬†Biotage‚Äôs¬†aim of meeting the increased¬†demand¬†for mRNA production¬†and will avoid disrupting any existing clients that are currently manufacturing¬†APIs, natural products, fine chemicals, and other markets.¬†¬†
To service the new facility, Blomquist said¬†Biotage¬†has added ‚Äúadditional staff to allow for even greater throughput of product.‚ÄĚ However, a specific number¬†of employees¬†was not divulged.¬†¬†
The firm¬†claims¬†that the¬†newly operational¬†facility showcases its ability to move quickly and scale-up to meet new demands¬†in a rapidly increasing market in the pharmaceutical sector.¬†¬†
Biotage said the commercial manufacturing of lipids at its Cardiff facility has been made possible with the firm‚Äôs systems, flash purification technology, and general expertise.