Lonza and Moderna enter agreement to increase vaccine production

Article by Amanda Doyle

LONZA has entered a new agreement with Moderna to double production for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine at its site in Switzerland.

Lonza and Moderna first started working together in May 2020 with a ten-year strategic collaboration agreement for the large-scale manufacture of Moderna’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine and additional Moderna products in the future. They have now entered into a new agreement for Lonza to increase production of the key mRNA active ingredient used in the Moderna vaccine.

Three additional manufacturing lines will be installed at Lonza’s Visp site in Switzerland, which will double production at the site. The new lines are expected to be operational in early 2022.

Pierre-Alain Ruffieux, CEO of Lonza, said: “Since we began working with Moderna in May 2020, its mRNA vaccine has proved to be pivotal in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. We have commenced and ramped up operations in our four existing production lines at an unprecedented rate and scale. Our new agreement with Moderna will double our drug substance manufacturing capacity in Visp, at this time of urgent global demand. We are proud of our work with Moderna, and we are looking forward to expanding the partnership in the coming months.”

Lonza has also announced that it will construct a new small molecule manufacturing complex at Visp with an investment of CHF200m (US$220m). The complex is supported by an undisclosed biopharmaceutical partner in the oncology field. Operation is expected to begin in Q3 2023 with a dedicated manufacturing line for antibody-drug conjugate payload molecules.

Maurits Janssen, Strategic Business Development Small Molecules at Lonza, said: “Supply is critical for our global partner in the oncology field. With this investment, we are enabling the treatment of many cancer patients. Oncology continues to be the leading indication in biopharma and a key driver for highly potent ingredients such as antibody-drug conjugates. In addition, small molecule oncology therapies require specific technologies. These challenges were specifically taken into account when designing this manufacturing complex.”

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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