Moderna invests to increase global COVID-19 vaccine supply

Moderna will make additional investments to increase global supply of its COVID-19 vaccine to potentially three billion doses in 2022.

While no financial details of the investment have been divulged, the firm has confirmed it will provide additional funding to increase supply at its partnered and owned manufacturing sites this year with production expected to grow in late 2021 and early 2022.

The increased investment will double drug substance manufacturing at CDMO Lonza’s plant in Visp, Switzerland. Lonza partnered with Moderna in May 2020 and has upped supply as the vaccine went through the clinic.

Image/iStock: Dilok Klaisataporn

Under the new agreement, three additional production lines will be installed at the facility and all three are expected to be operational by the first half of 2022.

CDMO Rovi will more than double its fill-finish capacity at its facility in Madrid, Spain by adding two new production lines.

Furthermore, Moderna’s US-based facilities will also see a 50% increase in its drug substance capacity and when completed, the firm believe the investments will create a safety stock of raw materials and finished products.

Up to three billion doses

As such Moderna has amended its 2021 manufacturing supply forecast of its cell-free COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273 to between 800 million to one billion doses.

Furthermore, the firm is aiming to increase global capacity in 2022 to up to three billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. However, the rise in doses is reliant on potentially lower doses of Moderna’s variant booster candidates and pediatric vaccines receiving authorization.

Moderna’s chief financial officer David Meline said at the 20th Annual Needham Health Conference earlier this month “If we get into a discussion of the variants, of the work we’re doing there, to the extent that future boosters come at a smaller dosing level, such as 50 microgram, obviously that would increase the available capacity for us next year.”

The company invested $400 million in messenger RNA (mRNA) capacity for COVID-19 and beyond in February to meet their previous goal of 1.4 billion doses and secure global supply through its own sites and contract development manufacturing organizations (CDMOs).

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