Lonza announced the expansion of its collaboration with Moderna, a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, to manufacture the drug substance for the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna.
The expanded collaboration provides for the installation of three additional drug substance manufacturing lines at Lonza’s Visp (CH) site. This will double the existing drug substance production for COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna at the site.
In May 2020, Lonza and Moderna announced a 10-year strategic collaboration agreement to enable the manufacture of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and additional Moderna products in the future. Since then, Lonza has installed three production lines at its Visp (CH) site and one further production line in Portsmouth (US). Production in Visp (CH) commenced within eight months of the initial agreement.
It is anticipated that the new manufacturing lines will each have a production capacity equivalent to the existing lines and are expected to be operational in the earlier part of 2022. The additional production lines will be constructed in Lonza’s Ibex® Solutions facility, alongside the existing COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna production lines.
Recruitment for the additional production lines has already commenced as part of wider recruitment efforts to support expansion plans in Lonza Visp, including the recently announced construction of a new small molecule manufacturing complex. Lonza is seeking to attract specialists from the international market, as well as from within Switzerland. The company has taken learnings from its previous ramp-up of Moderna drug substance production lines in Visp, and is confident that it can accelerate the operationalization of the new facilities.
Lonza’s recruitment activities in Visp support a wider program to attract top talent as the global business works to operationalize a series of new Capex investments. In March 2021, Lonza recorded its highest ever global intake of new employees. This reflects the company’s continuing commitment to deliver for its customers, as part of its mission to enable a healthier world.