The company has also announced its public health strategy, which targets the prevention of infectious diseases by advancing mRNA vaccines
US-based mRNA therapeutics and vaccines maker Moderna has announced its plans to establish a new mRNA manufacturing facility in Kenya.
With support from the US government, the company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Kenya for the project.
Moderna will invest up to $500m in the new mRNA facility, which will have a capacity to produce up to 500 million doses of vaccines per annum.
The new facility will initially focus on manufacturing drug substances for use in the African continent, with plans to expand with fill/finish and packaging capabilities.
In addition, Moderna is planning to fill its Covid-19 vaccine doses in Africa as early as 2023.
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said: “Moderna is committed to being a part of the solution and today, we announce another step in this journey – an investment in the Republic of Kenya.
“With our mRNA global public health vaccine programme, we believe that this step will become one of many on a journey to ensure sustainable access to transformative mRNA innovation on the African continent and positively impact public health.”
The move follows the company’s recent announcement to establish a new Enterprise Solutions Hub in Atlanta, Georgia, US.
Moderna co-founder and chairman Noubar Afeyan said: “We would like to thank the Government of the Republic of Kenya for their support in bringing our mRNA manufacturing facility to Kenya, and thank the U.S. Government for assisting us in this process.
“We take seriously our critical role in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic and are determined to expand our global impact with our first manufacturing facility on the continent of Africa.”
In a separate development, Moderna has announced its public health strategy, which targets the prevention of infectious diseases by advancing mRNA vaccines.
As part of its strategy, the company will develop and study vaccines against 15 types of pathogens that threaten global health by 2025.
Moderna will also provide researchers working on new vaccines for emerging diseases with access to its mRNA technology, through the mRNA Access programme.
In addition, the company will permanently wave Covid-19 vaccine patents for shots intended for certain low- and middle-income countries under Gavi COVAX AMC.