Moderna recently welcomed the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Victoria Atkins, and Professor Dame Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, to the Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre (MITC) in Harwell, Oxfordshire.

Just one year after breaking ground on the UK’s first mRNA vaccine development facility, the shell of the manufacturing facility is now complete. The installation of advanced manufacturing equipment, including mRNA processing equipment and digital controls, is well underway. The visit comes at a pivotal moment as the clinical labs, constructed from modular units built offsite in Northumberland, are nearing completion on site.

The MITC is being constructed as part of Moderna’s ten-year strategic partnership with the UK government. Once operational, it is set to bolster pandemic preparedness and provide the UK public with direct access to mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 and potentially other respiratory health threats.

The manufacturing facility will have the capacity to rapidly produce up to 250 million vaccine doses in the event of a pandemic, and the biomarker, bioanalytical, and molecular assay laboratories will process samples from Moderna’s clinical trials across the UK and Europe. The labs will evaluate clinical samples and enable rapid, data-driven decisions to assess the safety and effectiveness of potential therapeutics and vaccines.

Moderna is committed to advancing the UK’s leadership in mRNA technology, investing significantly in research and development over the next decade as part of the strategic partnership. Since 2021, Moderna has launched 18 trials in the UK across vaccines and therapeutics and is preparing to launch additional trials in 2024.

Upon completion of the facility, Moderna will create more than 150 highly skilled jobs, with several hundred currently involved in the construction and fit out. The clinical laboratories are scheduled to start processing samples later in 2024, with the manufacturing facility expected to be operational in mid-2025.

Darius Hughes, UK General Manager at Moderna UK, said: “We were delighted to host the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Victoria Atkins, and the CEO of the UK Health Security Agency, Professor Dame Jenny Harries.

“The construction of the MITC is advancing at speed and this visit provides a great opportunity to illustrate how our strategic partnership with the UK government is rapidly translating into concrete achievements, bolstering the UK’s health resilience and scientific strength.”