Moderna has chosen Oxfordshire, England as the location for its U.K. Innovation and Technology Centre (MITC), which is expected to open in 2025. The pharma’s new mRNA manufacturing facility will be based at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.
The move is part of Moderna’s greater plan to invest further in mRNA vaccines and develop a mRNA manufacturing facility that could produce 250 million vaccines per year. The facility will host production for a suite of mRNA vaccines that target COVID-19 as well as other respiratory diseases, like flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
The MITC location announcement comes months after Moderna finalized a 1o-year partnership with the U.K. government with the goal of investing in mRNA technology and research, and producing the first mRNA vaccine in the U.K.
Catapulting into success during the COVID-19 pandemic through its vaccine, the pharma has recently been doubling down on its mRNA pipeline.
Late last year, it received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its updated bivalent COVID-19 booster for kids between six months and five years old.
Moderna has also been working with Merck to test a combination therapy of a mRNA cancer vaccine with Keytruda. In December 2022, the companies announced that a Phase 2b trial showed the combination therapy showed a “statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement” in recurrence-free survival for patients with stage 3 and 4 melanoma.
In February, Moderna released results from a Phase III trial for its mRNA flu vaccine, which showed efficacy for A strains of the influenza virus but not B strains.
At the end of the month, Moderna unveiled its Q4 2022 earnings after its mRNA cancer vaccine in combination with Keytruda receiving a Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA.
The pharma company is also currently testing a variety of COVID-19 vaccines targeting different strains of the virus, including Omicron variants, the Beta variant and Delta variant.
Moderna also announced Monday that the MITC in Oxfordshire will include a biomarker laboratory. The company said the “investment will create hundreds of jobs during construction and operation.”
Construction of the facility is expected to start this year, but the pharma has already begun eyeing other manufacturing sites in other parts of the world, including in Africa, Canada and Australia.