Moderna Partner Brings Production Muscle to Covid Battle - (SwissInfo via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Drugmakers that are developing COVID-19 vaccines and therapies are scouting for specialized manufacturers like Moderna's partner Lonza that can scale up production to billions of doses needed to supply the world, reported SwissInfo.

  • Lonza chairman Albert Baehny said that after the first batches of Moderna's vaccine are produced in the US in July, Lonza expects to produce initial "commercial volumes" at a site in New Hampshire in December, followed by a location in Switzerland in February.

  • According to the news source, each line could make as many as 100 million doses per year.

  • "We've had more than 100 inquiries, maybe 120, 140, I don't know," Baehny said, noting that while Lonza has agreed with Moderna to make as many as 1 billion doses a year, the Swiss company can still take on more production and expects to reach a few more collaboration pacts.

  • If needed, Lonza can add another manufacturing line in North America, two more in Switzerland and one in Singapore, with each line costing about $60 million to $70 million, though the first in the US will be funded by the government, Baehny said.

  • "We are investing in manufacturing without knowing if basically the vaccine will be accepted by the FDA," he noted, adding that is "a risk we never took in the past."

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