Lonza executives said the company believes that US and Swiss plants it is building to help make Moderna's coronavirus vaccine candidate will be ready for commercial production this year, as reported in Fidelity.
New production lines at Lonza's Portsmouth site in New Hampshire, aim to begin making vaccine ingredients in November, while three lines in Visp, Switzerland, to supply 300 million vaccine doses annually, should start delivering by December.
Torsten Schmidt, who heads Lonza's Visp facility, where Moderna's $210 million production lines are about 50% completed, said he has secured the equipment needed to avoid any last-minute setbacks.
"The delivery of the equipment was critical," Schmidt remarked, adding "you typically wait 12 months, you're talking here about four to five months. In the end, the CEO has been talking to the CEOs of suppliers, to get the equipment delivered."
The news source said that in all, Lonza expects to have some 4000 workers in Visp by January, from 3500 now, following a hiring spree fueled by its manufacture of drugs for other customers, as well as Moderna.
These include Roche, Sanofi and Humanigen, with which Lonza has partnered on another COVID-19 project.
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