Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna has announced its new research and manufacturing base is to be built in Oxfordshire to develop the next generation of jabs.
The biotechnology company will create its Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre in Harwell “to provide the UK public with access to mRNA vaccines for a wide range of respiratory diseases”.
The move is set to create hundreds of jobs both in the construction as well as the operation of the manufacturing facility, which is expected to be operating in 2025.
Darius Hughes, UK general manager at Moderna, said: “When constructed, our facility at Harwell will harness mRNA science that aims to develop and deliver innovative vaccines to the UK public that address emerging threats from respiratory viruses facing our population.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Moderna’s new Innovation and Technology Centre means NHS patients will have access to cutting-edge mRNA vaccines to fight against future variants of Covid, as well as other respiratory viruses, while also creating hundreds of jobs.
“Harwell is already leading science and innovation in the UK and we look forward to the opening of this new mRNA centre.”
Minister for investment Dominic Johnson said: “Moderna’s 10-year partnership with the Government has made it a key partner in the UK’s journey to become a science and technology superpower.
“I greatly look forward to seeing this put into practice, boosting economic growth, generating high-value jobs and supporting our NHS.”
Dame Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “I look forward to continuing our work with Moderna as we strengthen our vaccine development and research capabilities, placing us at the forefront of new science and improving our ability to protect the nation from respiratory diseases and any future pandemics.
“Moderna’s new centre in Oxfordshire also brings an important boost to our UK life sciences economy and our onshore vaccine manufacturing capability.”
Stuart Grant, chief executive of Harwell Campus, said: “mRNA technology has the capability to transform how we treat a variety of diseases and enhance UK resilience against future pandemics.
“I’m delighted that Moderna has chosen the campus as its home to grow its globally important life sciences research and development and manufacturing capabilities, a move which will boost UK innovation, and investment in this breakthrough technology.”
This article contains information from PA Media