Everest starts operations at China mRNA vaccine plant

Shanghai Everest Medicines has started operations in its $130 million mRNA vaccine production facility, located in Jiashan, Zhejiang Province.

In September 2021, Everest announced a $500 million two-part mRNA deal with Providence Therapeutics of Calvary, Canada. Initially, Everest acquired China-Asia rights to Providence’s mRNA Phase II COVID-19 vaccine and then began a 50/50 global collaboration for two additional Providence mRNA prophylactic or therapeutic products.

Everest said it has completed industrial scale technology transfer of the mRNA platform along with other tasks that will allow it to produce mRNA vaccines and other novel drugs.

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The first phase of the project is a 58,000 square meter facility, compliant with China and global GMP standards, which is capable of producing 700 million doses of mRNA vaccines annually.

In a head-to-head Phase II clinical trial, conducted by Providence, the shared monovalent COVID-19 vaccine candidate PTX-COVID19-B proved it was statistically non-inferior to Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty in terms of safety and efficacy.

Everest is also developing an Omicron-based bivalent booster candidate, EVER-COVID19-M1.2, with plans to initiate clinical trials in China and other Everest territories in 2023. In addition, it also has other preventive and therapeutic vaccines in development against important infectious diseases and cancers using its technology platform. One of these candidates, an mRNA rabies vaccine, has achieved preclinical proof-of-concept.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging globally, and the evolving variants bring significant challenges. We are actively advancing the development of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to better protect people’s health and support China’s national public policy,” said Rogers Yongqing Luo, CEO of Everest Medicines.

He continued, “The startup of our mRNA vaccine factory is a key step in our strategic goal of having a complete industrial value chain of research, clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization. We will continue to develop our clinically-validated mRNA technology platform across a wide range of diseases, such as infectious diseases and cancer, while preparing for commercialization, and accelerating our path to becoming a fully-integrated biopharmaceutical company.”

Everest has built a portfolio of molecules with global first-in-class or best-in-class potential. Eleven of its assets are in, or close to Phase III trials. Its major clinical areas of interest are cardio-renal diseases, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases.

This article was first published on December 29, 2022 in China BioToday