Recipharm: $500m fill-finish plant to help Africa gain ‘vaccine sovereignty’

Recipharm has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the fill-finish of biotherapeutics and vaccines in Morocco.   

Contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Recipharm signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the King of Morocco, various Moroccan banks, and the Moroccan Government.

As part of the MOU, approximately $500 million will be invested by the Moroccan government and others over the next five years to secure capacity and capability for the production of vaccines and biotherapeutics in Morocco.

Image: iStock/ Manakin

Recipharm will operate a new fill-finish plant in Morocco, which will be located on a 42-hectare site and is anticipated to be fully operational by 2023.

According to the CDMO, the plant will mirror its fill-finish line at its facility in Monts, France but it will be on a larger scale.

“The facility [will have] the potential to supply up to 300 million units,” a spokeswoman for Recipharm told BioProcess Insider.

Marc Funk, CEO of Recipharm added: “Together with the other parties involved, we will be able to work to offer Africa a concrete opportunity to gradually gain health independence from western countries and ultimately help to ensure it is less vulnerable in times of crisis.

“Our expertise and previous experience of fill finish manufacturing means we’re ideally placed to ensure successful tech transfer and high-quality operations.”

Moderna selected Recipharm to supply fill-finish for its cell-free COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273 in January.

Other than the $500 million figure, specifics regarding Recipharm’s participation were not disclosed. However, Recipharm confirmed staff will be scaled-up to service the deal.