Facility to enable access to manufactured mRNA vaccines for Kenya and the African continent, providing health security and building upon Moderna's global public health commitments
The facility will be capable of producing up to 500 million doses each year
CAMBRIDGE, MA & NAIROBI, KENYA / ACCESSWIRE / March 30, 2023 / Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, and the Government of the Republic of Kenya have finalized an agreement to establish an mRNA manufacturing facility in the Republic of Kenya. This will be the Company's first mRNA manufacturing facility in Africa.
In partnership with the Government of the Republic of Kenya, Moderna will build a state-of-the-art mRNA facility in Kenya to produce up to 500 million doses of vaccines each year. The Company expects the new facility to enable drug substance and drug product manufacturing for Kenya and the African continent. In addition, this facility will have surge capacity to rapidly scale and respond to public health emergencies on the continent and around the world.
"The finalization of our agreement with the Government of the Republic of Kenya is a key pillar of our global public health strategy, where we hope to bring mRNA innovation to the people of Africa in areas of high unmet need, such as acute respiratory infections, as well as persistent infectious diseases like HIV and outbreak threats such as Zika and Ebola," said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. "This also demonstrates our confidence in the investment climate in Kenya and the importance of utilizing mRNA technology to build resilience in healthcare security in Africa. We are also grateful for the leadership of the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, and Samantha Power, in her role as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development for their instrumental support of this project."
"We are excited about this milestone that brings to bear our efforts as Government to sustain our economic model of facilitating investments that serve not only Kenya but the African continent. My Government commits to supporting this investment as a critical signal to the investment community that Kenya is open for business," said President William Ruto.
"This investment creates the momentum to meet the $10 billion annual target under the Government's manufacturing 20 by 30 vision, where we plan to grow the contribution of manufacturing to GDP to 20% by the year 2030 from the current 7%," said Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Investments, Trade, and Industry Hon. Moses Kuria.
The Government of Kenya has championed an accelerated investment agenda to grow foreign direct investment levels from the current levels of $448 million annually to $10 billion annually, making the country's goal the continent's most ambitious agenda to attract investments as an enabler to job creation. Moderna's investment signifies confidence in the business environment in Kenya and readiness to support foreign and local investment in the healthcare sector, as well as Moderna's ongoing commitment to global public health. Moderna will operate under a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status, signifying Kenya's increasing focus on the SEZ program as a key enabler of economic growth.
With this agreement, Moderna has commitments to establish mRNA manufacturing facilities in Kenya, the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, furthering health security around the world. Moderna has spent more than a decade refining its mRNA platform to accelerate the pace and success of mRNA medicines. The speed, scale, and flexibility of Moderna's mRNA platform is uniquely suited for rapid response to serious international epidemics, commonly referred to as Disease X.[i]
Moderna is committed to advancing into clinical studies a portfolio of 15 vaccine programs targeting emerging or neglected infectious diseases by 2025, advancing vaccines that address current diseases of significant impact to low- and middle-income countries, and those that prepare for Disease X. Moderna will prioritize development efforts against pathogens identified as persistent global health threats, including HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, neglected tropical diseases and the priority pathogens of the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Learn more at https://www.modernatx.com/responsibility/our-commitment.
In over 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio, and integrated manufacturing facilities that allow for rapid clinical and commercial production at scale. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna's capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use and approval of one of the earliest and most effective vaccines against the COVID pandemic.
Moderna's mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology, and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and auto-immune diseases. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past eight years. To learn more, visit www.modernatx.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including statements regarding: the Company's plans to build an mRNA manufacturing facility in Kenya; the anticipated capacity and output for that facility; the ability of the facility to respond to public health emergencies; Moderna's aspiration to develop treatments or vaccines against HIV, Zika, Ebola, and other public health pathogens; the ability of Moderna's mRNA platform to respond to future epidemics; foreign investment in the health sector in Kenya; the advantages of doing business in a Kenyan Special Economic Zone; and Moderna's plans to establish manufacturing facilities in the United State, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "may," "should," "could," "expects," "intends," "plans," "aims," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," "continue," or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. The forward-looking statements in this press release are neither promises nor guarantees, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond Moderna's control and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties, and other factors include, among others, those risks and uncertainties described under the heading "Risk Factors" in Moderna's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and in subsequent filings made by Moderna with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Except as required by law, Moderna disclaims any intention or responsibility for updating or revising any forward-looking statements contained in this press release in the event of new information, future developments or otherwise. These forward-looking statements are based on Moderna's current expectations and speak only as of the date of this press release.
Luke Mircea Willats
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Senior Vice President & Head of Investor Relations
[i] "Disease X" was named by the WHO to represent the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease. https://www.who.int/activities/prioritizing-diseases-for-research-and-development-in-emergency-contexts
SOURCE: Moderna, Inc.