Moderna to build new vaccine facility in Britain


Moderna’s logo is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

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LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) – U.S. biotech firm Moderna (MRNA.O) is to build a new research and manufacturing center in Britain to develop vaccines against new variants of COVID-19 and other diseases , the government announced on Wednesday.

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines, which use messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, were among those rolled out in Britain, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailing the rollout as one of the keys to reopening Britain. English economy after strict lockdowns.

The UK Department of Health said the pandemic had shown mRNA technology to be one of the fastest ways to develop new vaccines and could be applied to other areas, such as cancer, flu, dementia and heart disease.

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“Our investment will secure punches against some of the toughest viruses, putting us at the forefront of the fight against future threats,” Johnson said in a statement.

“We’ve all seen what vaccines can do, and today’s partnership brings us one step closer to finding cures for some of the most devastating diseases.”

Britain said in December it had ordered an additional 60 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for delivery in 2022 to 2023.

The success of this vaccine led the company to seek global expansion through new manufacturing facilities. Moderna has announced manufacturing facilities in Kenya, Canada and Australia. Read more

“As we continue to expand internationally, we are excited to bring local mRNA manufacturing to the UK. We look forward to establishing our R&D operations and capabilities in the country,” said Moderna Managing Director Stephane Bancel.

The aim is for the UK facility to start producing vaccines in 2025, but while the government had agreed in principle to the strategic partnership with Moderna, further details were being finalised.

The government did not give a location for the new facility, or an estimated final capacity, but said construction work could start this year.

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Reporting by Alistair Smout Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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