Lonza Doubles Drug Substance Production for Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine

By Tim Wright, Editor, Contract Pharma | 04.29.21

New agreement for three additional production lines at Lonza’s site in Visp, Switzerland.

Lonza has expanded its collaboration with Moderna to manufacture the drug substance for the biopharma’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The expanded collaboration provides for the installation of three additional drug substance manufacturing lines at Lonza’s Visp, Switzerland site. This will double the existing drug substance production for COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna at the site.
In May 2020, Lonza and Moderna entered a 10-year strategic collaboration agreement to enable the manufacture of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and additional Moderna products in the future. Since then, Lonza has installed three production lines at its Visp site and one further production line in Portsmouth (US). Production in Visp began within eight months of the initial agreement.

“Since we began working with Moderna in May 2020, its mRNA vaccine has proved to be pivotal in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pierre-Alain Ruffieux, CEO, Lonza. “We have commenced and ramped up operations in our four existing production lines at an unprecedented rate and scale. Our new agreement with Moderna will double our drug substance manufacturing capacity in Visp at this time of urgent global demand. We are proud of our work with Moderna, and we are looking forward to expanding the partnership in the coming months.”
It is anticipated that the new manufacturing lines will each have a production capacity equivalent to the existing lines and are expected to be operational in the earlier part of 2022. The additional production lines will be constructed in Lonza’s Ibex Solutions facility, alongside the existing COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna production lines.
Recruitment for the additional production lines has already begun as part of wider recruitment efforts to support expansion plans in Lonza Visp, including the recently announced construction of a new small molecule manufacturing complex.