Major UK pharma deal to produce 250m vaccines a year

The deal will see US pharmaceutical giant Moderna build a state-of-the-art manufacturing centre in the UK to produce 250 million vaccines a year.

It will give NHS patients access to a domestic supply of Covid jabs, as well as cutting-edge vaccines developed for other respiratory diseases, such as flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The partnership, which will also see Moderna invest in mRNA research and development in the UK, will create more than 150 jobs.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: “This time two years ago, the UK was the first country in the world to administer a Covid vaccine outside of a clinical trial.

“Since then, countless lives have been saved across the world and more than 150 million doses have been given in the UK alone.

“It is vital we invest in fighting future variants of this disease as well as other deadly viruses that are circulating, such as seasonal flu and RSV. This partnership with Moderna will strengthen our ability to respond to any future pandemics.

“By boosting our onshore vaccine manufacturing capability, we are a step closer to becoming the leading global hub for life sciences.

“This partnership will support our mission to protect the people of the UK and across the world through revolutionary vaccines and research.”

Construction is expected to start early next year, with the first mRNA vaccine produced in the UK in 2025.

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “This partnership takes the winning ways of working with industry to build the nation’s resilience, giving us rapid access to vaccines.

“We look forward to working closely with Moderna and playing a key role in supporting the government’s ambitious life sciences strategy.”

Stephane Bancel, of Moderna, said: “We look forward to being part of the UK’s world-renowned science and innovation community.”

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