Novartis: Kundl shines bright for CureVac’s COVID vaccine

Novartis has invested €20 million ($23.8m) to service the CureVac deal and says up to 100 jobs will be created at its Kundl site in Austria.  

Last week, Novartis became the latest firm to partner with CureVac to help manufacture its COVID-19 candidate, CVnCoV, at Novartis’ site in Kundl, Austria. The firm plans to manufacture up to 50 million doses by the end of 2021 and, potentially, a further 200 million doses by 2022.

A spokesperson for Novartis told BioProcess Insider it is investing approximately €20 million to service the deal and “as a consequence of the corresponding agreement, up to 100 highly skilled jobs will be created at the Novartis site in Kundl.”

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Its Kundl site ranges from the production of antibiotics, through to the manufacturing of nucleic acids, and now is set to manufacture the mRNA and bulk drug product of CureVac’s vaccine candidate CVnCoV.

Last November, Novartis expanded its Kundl site into a nucleic acid competence center for its cell and gene therapy pipeline. The swiss firm invested a total of approximately €17 million in nucleic acid production lines and planned to hire 45 new employees to support its scale-up.

According to the firm, its Kundl site is “a pioneer in the production of plasmids,” which are “the most important raw material for many innovative therapies and modern vaccines.” To meet its demands for supply, Novartis told us “We are currently expanding our new facility (NAF gamma) for the production of mRNA at high pressure in order to best serve the increasing demand.”