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Lonza and Moderna enter agreement to mass produce coronavirus vaccine

Published on 04/05/20 at 12:43pm
Photo by DoD

Lonza Group AG and Moderna Inc have entered a deal to develop 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines a year.

Moderna Inc is one of the leaders among American companies in developing a coronavirus vaccine. Its experimental injectable treatment induces the body’s own cells to make virus-like proteins that stimulate an immune response and prepare for an infection. It was among the first treatments to enter human trials.

Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer, commented on the partnership and said: “We are very pleased to partner with Lonza, which shares our commitment to rapidly addressing this pandemic which has created a global health crisis.

“This long-term strategic collaboration agreement will enable Moderna to accelerate, by 10-times, our manufacturing capacity for mRNA-1273 and additional products in Moderna’s large clinical portfolio. Lonza’s global presence and expertise are critical as we scale at unprecedented speed. Our common goal is to potentially enable manufacturing of up to 1 billion doses of mRNA-1273.”

Moderna’s partnership with Lonza includes an agreement for a 10 year collaboration in producing both the vaccine, Mrna-1273, and also future products. Manufacturing sites will be set up at Lonza’s US and Swiss facilities. They expect the first batches of the vaccine to be ready in July.

The US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will provide part of the funding for the vaccine manufacture while they will also support late-stage clinical trials.

More than 100 companies and organisations have begun developments on COVID-19 vaccines, with another prominent collaboration being agreed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

While a vaccine may be developed during this year, it is unlikely any will be ready for the public until 2021.

Conor Kavanagh

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