Biotechnology company and COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna says “it will build a state-of-the-art mRNA facility in Africa with the goal of producing up to 500 million doses of vaccines each year.”
In a statement released on Thursday, the company said it anticipates “investing up to $500 million in this new facility which is expected to include drug substance manufacturing with the opportunity for fill/finish and packaging capabilities at the site.”
The process for selecting the country and site is expected to commence soon.
Moderna’s announcement is a victory for voices like the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who have called for vaccine manufacturers to ramp up investment in Africa.
“Since Moderna’s founding in 2010, our mission has been to make a transformative impact on human lives through our medicines. After a decade of pioneering the development of our mRNA platform, we have been humbled to play a critical role in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic globally with our mRNA vaccine. We view Moderna’s work as only just beginning,” said Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer.
“On behalf of our growing team, partners and shareholders, we are determined to extend Moderna’s societal impact through the investment in a state-of-the-art mRNA manufacturing facility in Africa.
“While we are still working to increase capacity in our current network to deliver vaccines for the ongoing pandemic in 2022, we believe it is important to invest in the future.
“We expect to manufacture our COVID-19 vaccine as well as additional products within our mRNA vaccine portfolio at this facility.”