Demand forÂ lipidÂ nanoparticles for mRNA vaccinesÂ has drivenÂ BiotageÂ toÂ open a facility at its site in Cardiff, UK.Â Â
The facility, of which financial details have not been disclosed, seesÂ SwedishÂ separationsÂ firmÂ BiotageÂ expand its manufacturing capacity of large-scale flash columns by 300 percent,Â specificallyÂ to support companies and contract manufacturersÂ scaling-up lipid productionÂ for COVID-19 vaccines.Â Â
â€ś[Cardiff] isÂ our largest site with capacity and competence for complicated and advanced column filling operationsÂ andÂ [it is]Â geographically close to major customers,â€ť Tomas BlomquistÂ CEO ofÂ BiotageÂ toldÂ BioProcessÂ Insider.
According to the firm, theÂ shortage of raw materials for messenger RNA (mRNA)Â vaccine manufacturing has caused aÂ bottleneckÂ effectÂ as the lipids required forÂ lipid nano particles (LNP) were not availableÂ at the scale needed to produce billions of doses of vaccines for global distribution.Â Â
The recently opened facility willÂ supportÂ Biotageâ€™sÂ aim of meeting the increasedÂ demandÂ for mRNA productionÂ and will avoid disrupting any existing clients that are currently manufacturingÂ APIs, natural products, fine chemicals, and other markets.Â Â
To service the new facility, Blomquist saidÂ BiotageÂ has added â€śadditional staff to allow for even greater throughput of product.â€ť However, a specific numberÂ of employeesÂ was not divulged.Â Â
The firmÂ claimsÂ that theÂ newly operationalÂ facility showcases its ability to move quickly and scale-up to meet new demandsÂ in a rapidly increasing market in the pharmaceutical sector.Â Â
Biotage said the commercial manufacturing of lipids at its Cardiff facility has been made possible with the firmâ€™s systems, flash purification technology, and general expertise.