Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) has announced a partnership with contract drugmaker Catalent Inc. (NYSE:CTLT) to prepare around 100 million initial doses of its COVID-19 vaccine from 3Q 2020.
Catalent to help Moderna ramp up manufacture of the mRNA-1273 vaccine
According to the partnership, Catalent is expected to fill and package the vaccine doses and also support production. Equally, the drugmaker will offer additional staffing to support the vaccine production currently in trials. Catalent will provide the large-scale manufacturing of the mRNA vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, at its Bloomington manufacturing facility in Indiana.
Similarly, Catalent will offer clinical supply services from the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia facilities that will include labeling and packaging. The companies indicated that Catalent will also offer distribution and storage support for the third phase clinical trial.
Andres Moderna, the chief technical operations officer at Moderna, indicated that the partnership and flexibility of the Catalent team will be vital in delivering important fill-finish capacity for the mRNA-1273 vaccine.
Currently, Moderna is evaluating the vaccine candidate in different first phases and second phase studies. So far, preliminary results from the first phase study have supported the vaccine’s safety and immunogenicity. The third phase of the study is expected to commence in July. It will evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine in protecting against respiratory illnesses in about 30,000 adult study participants.
Moderna received funding from the US government
Moderna has also signed a deal with the US government for funding to scale the manufacturing of the vaccine. Equally, the company signed a 10-year partnership deal with Swiss-based drugmaker Lonza Group to produce 500 million doses per year and almost 1 billion doses at the beginning of 2021. In June, Israel disclosed that it had signed a deal with Modern to purchase its COVID-19 vaccine in the future, although the financial details were not disclosed.
Several companies such as AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE:AZN) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), which are pursuing the COVID-19 vaccine production, have also signed deals to enhance manufacturing of their vaccines.