U.S. biotech Moderna’s planned vaccine manufacturing centre in Britain will create more than 150 new jobs in the country, the UK government said on Thursday.
Plans for the centre, which will be able to produce up to 250 million vaccines a year, were unveiled earlier this year, when a government spokesperson said Moderna would make a minimum R&D investment of 1.1 billion pounds ($1.33 billion) in the country.
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines, which use messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, were among those deployed in Britain in the effort to tackle the coronavirus crisis, including in the ongoing autumn booster campaign.
The facility, which is expected to start producing shots in 2025, will provide patients in Britain access to domestically manufactured mRNA respiratory shots, including the company’s COVID vaccine that can protect against multiple variants.
Vaccines developed to target other illnesses, such as flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – upon regulatory approval and licensing – will also be on offer.
The 10-year partnership – which has the potential to address future pandemic threats posed by respiratory viruses – will facilitate further investment by Moderna in UK-based R&D, including running clinical trials and providing grants to UK universities, the Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement.
(Reporting by Natalie Grover in London; Editing by Leslie Adler)