[Exclusive] Moderna’s Shanghai Production, R&D Center to Cover Entire mRNA Vaccines Chain
Qian Tongxin
DATE:  Nov 30 2023
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
[Exclusive] Moderna’s Shanghai Production, R&D Center to Cover Entire mRNA Vaccines Chain [Exclusive] Moderna’s Shanghai Production, R&D Center to Cover Entire mRNA Vaccines Chain

(Yicai) Nov. 30 -- The production, research, and development center US vaccine maker Moderna has recently started constructing in Shanghai will cover the entire production chain of messenger RNA vaccines, Yicai learned.

Moderna’s new center will cover the whole development and production of mRNA vaccines, from the formulation of substances to the production of medicines and personalization of new antigens, sources recently told Yicai. However, it is unclear which products will be produced at the center.

Moderna announced in July that it would set up its Chinese headquarters in Shanghai’s Minhang district to promote the research, development, production, and sales of mRNA vaccines and drugs in China.

The company’s production and R&D center in Shanghai began construction on Nov. 6. Covering an area of about 180,000 square meters, the plant is expected to achieve an annual output value of CNY1.5 billion (USD210 million) once completed.

The investment in the first phase of the center is about CNY3.6 billion (USD507.7 million), Yicai learned from the agreement Moderna signed with the Minhang district government. The total investment may reach USD1 billion.

Moderna’s new production and R&D center is expected to have an upgrading effect on China’s biomedical industry, similar to the effect of the Shanghai gigafactory of US electric carmaker Tesla on the new energy vehicle industry, and enhance the country’s whole mRNA supply chain, according to industry insiders.

Adopting the mRNA technology can drastically shorten the drug development cycle from between six and nine months to 48 hours, as well as reduce R&D costs, a senior mRNA researcher told Yicai. Moreover, mRNA vaccines have a simple production process, requiring no cell culture, and mRNA drugs do not enter the cell nucleus, reducing the risk of integration into the host genome, the researcher noted.

Moderna will initially bring to China more than 30 investigational and marketed products against infectious, cardiovascular, liver, rare, and autoimmune diseases, as well as individually tailored therapies for tumors, the firm said.

Moderna hopes to complete clinical trials and new drug registrations in China and achieve production localization, Yicai learned.

Given the sharp decline in the demand for Covid-19 vaccines, Moderna’s third-quarter sales early halved to USD1.8 billion from a year earlier, according to the firm’s latest earnings report. Moderna logged a loss of over USD3.6 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of more than USD1 billion in the same period last year.

Moderna expects a revenue of between USD6 billion and USD8 billion for this year and about USD4 billion for next year.

Editors: Shi Yi, Futura Costaglione

Follow Yicai Global on
Keywords:   Moderna,Shanghai,Tesla,mRNA