Moderna contracts Resilience as it eyes 3 billion doses of COVID vax

With continued rollout and boosters on the horizon, Moderna has added space at CDMO Resilience’s Ontario, Canada site to its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine production network.

No financial details have been divulged, but the multi-year deal will see contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) National Resilience produce mRNA for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at its facility in Mississauga, Ontario in Canada.

Resilience added the 136,000 square-foot facility through the quiet acquisition of assets from Therapure Biopharma, and while Moderna told this publication it will be working with the CDMO on tech transfer, no further details were provided.

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However, we were told “Moderna believes this investment in increased supply is necessary due to an expected need for booster vaccinations.”

COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to patients for the past ten months, but some countries have either begun booster programs or are planning to administer third shots.

As such, Moderna, which has scaled up its network to produce between 800 million and 1 billion doses of its vaccine in 2021, is looking at its manufacturing needs going forward.

“We’re trying to make sure that we plan for all contingencies and we’re able to have capacity for that,” Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna told delegates at the Wells Fargo 2021 Virtual Healthcare Conference on Friday.

“We’re pretty comfortable that 3 billion [doses] as an upper range for next year is the right planning assumption for us. If we need more – and we keep getting into this year and for whatever reason, it looks like you need 5 billion doses – that won’t be something we can pull off for 2022, but that will be something we’ll be ready to pull off for 2023 if necessary.”

Resilience joins a growing number of CDMOs producing Moderna’s vaccine. Others include Swiss CDMO Lonza, and Spanish firm Rovi on the drug substance side, and Thermo Fisher, Samsung Biologics, and Catalent on the drug product side.

Meanwhile, Moderna itself has invested in its inhouse production network, expanding upon its site in Norwood, Massachusetts recently by signing a Memorandum of Understanding to construct an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Canada.

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