Two COVID-19 vaccine makers in the news: CureVac and Moderna expanding production
- Moderna will partner with Samsung Biologics to boost production for vaccine supply outside the U.S.
- CuraVac expects its mRNA-vaccine to be approved by June in Europe and is planning to expand production.
- CuraVac plans to produce up to 300 vaccine doses in 2021 and up to 1 billion in 2022.
With COVID-19 vaccines still scarce around the world, companies are announcing plans to expand production so as to speed up vaccine distribution worldwide. CuraVac N.V. (NASDAQ: CVAC) and Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) have recently unveiled plans to boost production capacity.
According to the New York Times’ Coronavirus vaccination tracker, more than 1.67 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide. And there remains a stark disparity in vaccination rates across the continents with some countries yet to start vaccination programs. Vaccination rates stand at 58%, 43%, 24%, 19%, and 2% for North America, Europe, South America, Asia and Africa, respectively.
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The American biotechnology company announced its plans to enter a Manufacturing Services and Supply Agreement with Samsung Biologics (KRX: 207940) that provides contract development and manufacturing services to the biopharmaceutical industry. Under the plan, Samsung Biologics will provide fill-finish manufacturing for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine — messenger RNA (mRNA) – 1273.
Vaccines will be produced at Samsung Biologics’ facilities in Incheon, South Korea and are intended for vaccine supply outside of the U.S. starting in the third quarter of 2021.
“Due to the high level of urgency in supplying the vaccine to the global population, we have set immediate action plans and schedule to make mRNA-1273 available for commercial distribution in the early second half of 2021,” said John Rim, CEO of Samsung Biologics.
CuraVac is a Germany-based biopharmaceutical company that, like Moderna, specializes in the field of mRNA technology.
The company expects to receive approval for its mRNA-based vaccine in the European Union by June.
The biotech company plans to expand its production as well as partner with other companies to produce up to 300 million doses of the vaccine in 2021 and up to 1 billion in 2022.
Earlier in March, the company announced that it had entered into an initial agreement with Novartis in which Novartis will manufacture and supply up to 50 million doses by the end of 2021 and up to a further 200 million doses in 2022 from its manufacturing site in Kundl, Austria.