Government partnership with Moderna to support advancements in vaccine tech

The UK government has finalised a ten-year partnership with Moderna which will see investment in mRNA research and development (R&D) in the UK, along with the building of a new Innovation and Technology Centre.

Moderna has committed to investing “substantial funding” in UK-based R&D activities over the ten-year period, which will include running “a significant number” of clinical trials in the UK, along with funding grants for UK universities.

The Department of Health and Social Care have said that “mRNA technology has proven to be one of the fastest routes to develop highly effective vaccines during the pandemic” and highlighted the opportunities to use the technology in a number of disease areas, including cancer, respiratory illnesses and heart disease… “mRNA vaccines also have the potential to treat multiple pathogens in a single shot. The new research centre will look to unlock this potential by developing revolutionary treatments in the UK, which will benefit NHS patients and people worldwide.”

In addition, it is said that the centre will “create more than 150 highly skilled jobs and have the capacity to produce up to 250 million vaccines per year in the event of a pandemic.”

Construction is expected to commence early next year, with the first mRNA expected to be produced in the UK in 2025.

The partnership is to be taken forward by the COVID Vaccine Unit, part of UKHSA.

Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, said: “We look forward to being part of the UK’s world-renowned science and innovation community, contributing to the UK health ecosystem through significant investments in R&D activities and expanding our clinical trial footprint across the country.”

HTN covered the original announcement of the partnership back in June.