The facility – which will be built at a site in Norwood, Massachusetts just outside Boston – will make candidates for clinical trials.
The plant will house active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing space, a quality control laboratory and a fill finish area. Initially the site will have capacity to produce 40 GMP mRNA lots a year.
It will also be the base of the firm’s personalized cancer vaccines unit and its preclinical testing operations.
A spokeswoman for the firm told us "We will centralize all manufacturing, including GLP toxicology manufacturing as well as GMP mRNA clinical manufacturing at the new site in Norwood."
"We will continue to maintain our corporate headquarters, R&D functions and therapeutic area-focused ventures and New Venture Labs, in Cambridge."
Work on the plant is due to start this year with the aim of making it fully operational by 2018.
CEO Stéphane Bancel said adding the plant to Moderna’s existing manufacturing capacity is in line with the expansion of its pipeline.
“Our Norwood facility will enable us to deliver our mRNA therapies and vaccines quickly, which will support rapid progression from development candidate nomination to human proof-of-concept.”
Approximately 100 of Moderna’s 460 employees will relocate to the facility, however eventually the site is expected to be the base for 220 staff.
Six trials by year end
In January, the firm said it plans to have started another four clinical trials before the end of the year.