29 Apr 2021

Lonza and Moderna Enter New Agreement to Double Drug Substance Production for COVID-19 Vaccine in Visp

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  • New agreement for three further production lines at Lonza’s site in Visp, Switzerland
  • Additional production lines will come online sequentially
  • All three are expected to be operational in the earlier part of 2022

Quote from Pierre-Alain Ruffieux, CEO, Lonza:

“Since we began working with Moderna in May 2020, its mRNA vaccine has proved to be pivotal in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 (CH), 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.”

Basel, Switzerland, 29 April 2021 – Lonza today announced the expansion of its collaboration with Moderna, a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, to manufacture the drug substance for the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna.

The expanded collaboration provides for the installation of three additional drug substance manufacturing lines at Lonza’s Visp (CH) site. This will double the existing drug substance production for COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna at the site.

In May 2020, Lonza and Moderna announced 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 (CH) site and one further production line in Portsmouth (US). Production in Visp (CH) commenced within eight months of the initial agreement.

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 commenced 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. Lonza is seeking to attract specialists from the international market, as well as from within Switzerland. The company has taken learnings from its previous ramp-up of Moderna drug substance production lines in Visp, and is confident that it can accelerate the operationalization of the new facilities.

Lonza’s recruitment activities in Visp support a wider program to attract top talent as the global business works to operationalize a series of new Capex investments. In March 2021, Lonza recorded its highest ever global intake of new employees. This reflects the company’s continuing commitment to deliver for its customers, as part of its mission to enable a healthier world.