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Moderna mulls first MRNA manufacturing facility in Africa


Biotechnology firm Moderna has announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Kenya to establish the company’s mRNA manufacturing facility in the country. The programme is being supported by the US government.

Moderna is building this state-of-the-art mRNA manufacturing facility in Africa with the goal of producing up to 500 million doses of vaccines each year. The Company anticipates investing up to $500 million in this new facility which will focus on drug substance manufacturing on the continent of Africa for the continent of Africa, and could also be expanded to include fill/finish and packaging capabilities at the site. In parallel, Moderna is also working on plans to allow it to fill doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Africa as early as 2023, subject to demand.

“Battling the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years has provided a reminder of the work that must be done to ensure global health equity. Moderna is committed to being a part of the solution and today, we announce another step in this journey – an investment in the Republic of Kenya to build a drug substance mRNA manufacturing facility capable of supplying up to 500 million doses for the African continent each year,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna.

“With our mRNA global public health vaccine program, including our vaccine programs against HIV and Nipah, and with this partnership with the Republic of Kenya, the African Union and the U.S. Government, we believe that this step will become one of many on a journey to ensure sustainable access to transformative mRNA innovation on the African continent and positively impact public health.”

“Partnerships are key to our goal of deploying vaccines whenever and wherever they are needed,” said Noubar Afeyan, Moderna’s co-Founder and Chairman. “We would like to thank the Government of the Republic of Kenya for their support in bringing our mRNA manufacturing facility to Kenya, and thank the U.S. Government for assisting us in this process. We take seriously our critical role in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and are determined to expand our global impact with our first manufacturing facility on the continent of Africa.”

“We are pleased to partner with Moderna in the establishment of this mRNA manufacturing facility to help prepare the country and our sister states on the continent through the African Union to respond to future health crises and stave off the next pandemic,” said His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya. “This partnership is a testament to the capabilities of our community and our commitment to technological innovation. Moderna’s investment in Kenya will help advance equitable global vaccine access and is emblematic of the structural developments that will enable Africa to become an engine of sustainable global growth.”

“Kenya recognizes and appreciates the collaboration of Moderna in building our local manufacturing capacity. This will ensure as a country and region we can quickly respond to health demands requiring vaccine commodities,” said Sen. Mutahi Kagwe, Cabinet Secretary for Health of the Republic of Kenya.

“Ending COVID-19 is a top priority of the Biden Administration and this can be achieved with increased global cooperation and investment. The agreement announced today between Moderna and the Government of Kenya to build a vaccine production facility in Kenya will not only contribute to ending this pandemic, but to long-term advancements in research and development on the African continent to combat future ones,” said Jose W. Fernandez, U.S. Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.

In its prophylactic vaccines modality, Moderna’s mRNA pipeline includes 28 vaccine programs including vaccines against respiratory viruses, vaccines against latent viruses and vaccines against threats to global public health.

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