Every human life is precious and sacred and saving one is like saving the whole of humanity. (Al Quran 5:32/33)
By Naomi Kresge
- Company has made first batch of main ingredient in Covid shot
- Ramping up production on vaccine could last into 2021
Most of the production of the drug substance for Moderna’s vaccine is running via Lonza, a Swiss company with a long history of partnering with big drugmakers. Lonza is building out capacity for 400 million doses a year — 300 million from three production lines in Visp, Switzerland, and 100 million in New Hampshire. Moderna itself has one production line with capacity for 100 million doses a year.
Moderna has said it will be able to deliver 20 million doses of vaccine by the end of this year, enough to inoculate 10 million people. The U.S. will get the first batch.
Moderna’s vaccine is a new type of medicine, like the one from Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech SE. Based on messenger RNA, it essentially transforms the cells of the body into tiny vaccine-making machines. That new technology means that Lonza had to create its production lines “from scratch,” Baehny said. The Swiss company has a 10-year exclusive collaboration deal to produce mRNA products for Moderna.