Greenlight raises $17m for mRNA vaccine capacity hike citing COVID-19 target

GreenLight Biosciences says a manufacturing expansion will allow it to make billions of doses of its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine.

The Boston biotech announced the expansion plan last week, explaining it will use $17 million raised in a recent funding round to build out its scalable mRNA production capability.

GreenLight is developing several mRNA vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 disease.

Image: iStock/monticelllo

The aim is to establish “a scaled process under current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), capable of supporting clinical development and enabling the production of billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine” the firm said.

Mike Liang, a partner at backer Baird Capital said, “GreenLight’s team and technology make them uniquely positioned to quickly bring large-scale, practical solutions to market for rapid pandemic response.”

“GreenLight’s approach promises the billions of doses needed with significantly faster manufacturing times than other technology platforms.

Laing added, “Baird Capital believes GreenLight has the potential to be a critical part of us getting back to a healthy, functioning economy in the shortest possible time

Manufacturing expansions

Greenlight framed the manufacturing expansion as part of its life sciences growth plan. The additional capacity will also be used to make products designed to combat pandemic influenza.

CEO Andrey Zarur commented “Our mRNA manufacturing platform has the potential to produce any mRNA vaccine candidate at a global scale and affordable cost.

“It is our responsibility to rapidly establish our cGMP manufacturing process to enable broad production of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

“In addition, we are developing novel mRNA sequences to ensure we will be able to effectively respond to this crisis. Our vaccine platform and COVID-19 efforts are a significant component of our broader efforts in human health,” he said.

Greenlight opened a manufacturing facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina in January. The main focus of activity at the site is the firm’s insect, fungal and plant-based product development programs.

More recently Greenlight said it would build a pilot plant at Eastman Business Park in Monroe County in New York.

At the time it said the New York site would use its GreenWorX cell-free biomanufacturing platform to produce RNA products for the agricultural and pest control industries.

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