Lonza to double drug substance production for Moderna vaccine

In May 2020, the companies announced a 10-year agreement to enable the manufacture of the COVID-19 vaccine and additional Moderna products in the future

Lonza has announced an expansion of its collaboration to manufacture the drug substance for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The expansion provides for the installation of three additional drug substance manufacturing lines at Lonza’s Visp site, which will double existing drug substance production at the site.

In May 2020, the companies announced a 10-year agreement to enable the manufacture of the COVID-19 vaccine and additional Moderna products in the future. Since then, Lonza has installed three production lines at its Visp site and one further production line in Portsmouth, US.

The additional manufacturing lines will each have a production capacity equivalent to the existing lines and are expected to be operational in the earlier part of 2022, Lonza says. They will be constructed in the company’s Ibex Solutions facility, alongside the existing vaccine production lines.

Recruitment for the expansion has already commenced as part of wider efforts to support expansion plans in Lonza Visp, including the recently announced construction of a small molecule manufacturing complex. Lonza is seeking to attract specialists from the international market, as well as from within Switzerland. In March 2021, the company recorded its highest ever global hiring numbers.

Pierre-Alain Ruffieux, CEO, 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 (CH), 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.”

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