Moderna boss says it's ‘delivered on commitments’ across Europe
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Britain has signed a deal with biotechnology company Moderna to build a major vaccine research and manufacturing facility for mRNA vaccines in the UK. This state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility is expected to boost the UK’s rapid pandemic response capabilities, which the Government hopes will “future-proof the UK” against potential emerging health threats.
The new mRNA Innovation and Technology Centre will develop cutting-edge mRNA vaccines for a wide range of respiratory diseases, including Covid vaccines that can protect against multiple variants, along with tackling other illnesses, such as flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
The mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility will give the UK a great boost, offering UK patients “guaranteed access” to Moderna’s Covid vaccine through a consistent domestically produced supply.
The factory, which will begin construction sometime year, will also ensure ensuring NHS patients can access the latest advancements in vaccine technology quickly.
Moderna expects to produce its first vaccine in the UK by 2025.
Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna said: “We are excited to be able to continue our collaboration with the UK government and Vaccine Taskforce with this new mRNA Innovation and Technology Center in the UK.
“The UK has established a world-class life sciences and research community.
“We are committed to global public health, and as we continue to expand internationally, we are pleased to bring local mRNA manufacturing to the UK.
“We look forward to establishing our R&D activities and capabilities in the country.”
A major vaccine manufacturing and research facility would provide a massive boost to the UK’s pandemic response, with the Moderna facility set to be able to rapidly scale up production in case of health emergencies like the Covid-19 pandemic.
Moderna has worked closely with the Vaccine Taskforce, supplying Covid vaccines used in the initial rollout as well as subsequent booster campaigns.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said: “We are bringing supercharged, home-grown vaccines right to our shores.
“I want the UK to be the brightest and best in research and technology, creating more jobs and securing our economic future.
“Our investment will guarantee jabs in arms against some of the toughest viruses out there, bringing us to the forefront of the fight against future threats.
“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.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, mRNA technology proved itself to be one of the fastest routes to develop highly effective vaccines during times of crisis.
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According to a statement from the Government, these vaccines have the potential to be a “transformative breakthrough technology in a number of disease areas, including cancer, flu, dementia and heart disease.”
Mr Bancel later added: “We have a shortlist of a couple of sites for uk facility, expect to announce where it will be built shortly
“Britain is committed to buying vaccines from us for next 10 years under agreement to build research and manufacturing facility “
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our new partnership with Moderna will cement the UK’s status as a science superpower, significantly boosting the economy and creating jobs – and it has the potential to unlock the next generation of cutting-edge vaccines to fight diseases such as Covid, seasonal flu and RSV.
“mRNA is a truly transformational technology and we have seen its life-saving power during the pandemic.
“Thanks to this new deal, NHS patients will benefit from scientific breakthroughs and the new state-of-the-art manufacturing centre will boost our ability to respond to the next pandemic by ensuring we’re able to produce vaccines rapidly on our own shores.”
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