With €300m in hand, Normax looks to slash mRNA costs

Through modular decentralized facilities and a socially-responsible financial model, Normax says it can produce and sell mRNA vaccines at a cost of $4 per dose – a fraction of current prices.

Though in its infancy, Ireland-based Normax has set-up its own mRNA UCV Consortium and developed an mRNA vaccine platform and is now looking to grow out a global manufacturing network.

The company, which is looking to operate on the industry standard contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) business model, has a mission to drive down the cost of mRNA vaccines and to deliver sustainable returns for impact investors.

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“We’re on a social mission to redress global healthcare inequity caused by the profiteering pharmaceutical industry,” Peter Jensen, CEO and chairman of Normax told Bioprocess Insider.

“Currently, leading COVID mRNA vaccine producers charge governments $8-$35 per dose. At Normax, we can manufacture an mRNA vaccine for less than $2 per dose and charge just $4 per dose for large scale delivery of mRNA vaccines on advance purchase agreements (APA).

“At high volumes, Normax has costed the raw materials at approximately $1.20 per dose plus the cost of manufacturing at approximately $0.80 per dose. At high volumes, we believe these are relatively standard industry parameters, however, variations are expected to occur on forward-looking statements.”

The firm is now getting ready to go to market with a plan to roll-out five modular ‘Vax Factory’ manufacturing facilities, the first of which will be located in Cork, Ireland.

“It’s still a small country, but there’s a lot of very talented people and Ireland is a fantastic domicile to grow business,” said Jensen. “We’re also planning to grow the business and have factories in Switzerland, UK, US and South Africa. The capacity of each Vax Factory will be approximately 50-300 million mRNA vaccine doses per year with dependencies as per industry standard variables”

The firm’s long-term plan is to develop up to 100 mRNA Vaccines to be manufactured at 100 Vax Factories. This strategy was boosted earlier this month through an investment by GEM Global Yield, a Luxembourg-based private equity group.

“Following the recent €300 million [$307 million] capital commitment in Normax, we plan to deliver research and development of mRNA vaccines for COVID, TB, HIV, and Malaria and deploy modular mRNA Vaccine Factories, ultimately in up to 100 locations,” Jensen told us.

“In the event of another public health emergency we are also committed to delivering future mRNA vaccines in 100 days, to help ensure that COVID-19 is the last pandemic we will all suffer through. Deadly diseases wait for no man and no market. Despite adverse market conditions Normax will go to market in 2022 because it’s the right thing to do.”

He added that this support is good news for investors seeking fundamental value opportunities. “Our Normax core business of mRNA vaccine R&D and manufacturing can deliver sustainable returns on fundamental healthcare needs that biologically will last forever. Pathogens are inevitable, but diseases are not.”