Officials at Moderna say the company is making new funding commitments to increase supply at its owned and partnered manufacturing facilities, which it expects will increase global 2022 capacity to up to three billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. They add that this will depend upon the mix between the authorized Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the 100 μg dose level and potentially lower doses of the company’s variant booster candidates and pediatric vaccines, if authorized. The company will use its cash balance to fund these investments.
These investments allow for a doubling of drug substance manufacturing at Lonza’s Switzerland-based facility, a more than doubling of formulation, fill, and finish and drug substance manufacturing at Rovi’s Spain-based facility, as well as a 50% increase of drug substance at Moderna’s facilities in the U.S.
When completed, the investments will also result in an increase in safety stock of raw materials and finished product used to deliver committed volumes, notes a company spokesperson. The company will begin making investments at its owned and partnered manufacturing facilities in 2021, with increased production from these investments expected to ramp up in late 2021 and early 2022. The company also just raised its 2021 manufacturing supply forecast to between 800 million to one billion doses.
“As we follow the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, we believe that there will continue to be significant need for our mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and our variant booster candidates into 2022 and 2023. We are hearing from governments that there is no technology that provides the high efficacy of mRNA vaccines and the speed necessary to adapt to variants, while allowing reliable scalability of manufacturing,” said Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna.