The American company Moderna announced that it is making additional investments to increase the production capacity of its vaccine compared to Covid-19 worldwide.
The basic production plan for 2021 increases to 700 million installments, with the company working to distribute up to 1 billion installments this year. The projected capacity for 2022 is increased to 1.4 billion doses of 100 μg.
The new investments will allow the production of additional doses of the existing Moderna vaccine and will offer flexibility in the production of possible booster vaccines to treat the mutations.
Moderna has already received a positive response from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to its proposal to include more doses per vaccine vial, and the company is considering a plan that could allow up to 15 doses per vial. Moderna is expected to start discussions with other regulators.
“We are investing in increasing doses per vial to help boost production and increase flexibility in the possible production of booster vaccines to treat different mutations in the virus,” said Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna. “We expect that the additional investments we will make will allow us to increase our capacity to 1.4 billion doses by 2022, at the current dosage of 100 μg. In case the booster vaccine for mutations requires a lower dose, such as e.g. at 50 μg, it would be possible to produce more than 2 billion doses by 2022 “, he added.
Moderna also announced that it had sent doses of mRNA-1273,351, its candidate for the mutation vaccine found in South Africa, to the US National Institutes of Health for clinical trials.
The company is evaluating the use of a booster dose to increase neutralizing immunity to new mutations. The company intends to consider three separate approaches to granting booster doses, as follows:
* mRNA-1273.351: A candidate mutation vaccine to treat the mutation first identified in South Africa,
* mRNA-1273.211: A multiple candidate booster vaccine that combines mRNA-1273, the moderna approved vaccine against ancestral strains, and mRNA-1273.351 into one vaccine,
* A third dose of mRNA-1273, Moderna's existing vaccine versus Covid-19, as a lower dose booster, at 50 µg levels.
The company will evaluate the possibility of administering mRNA-1273,351 and mRNA-1273,211 as the first vaccine to those who have not yet been vaccinated.
Stéphane Bancel said: “Utilizing the flexibility of the mRNA platform we have developed, we are rapidly advancing clinical trials of advanced vaccines to address new mutations in the virus. Moderna is committed to making as many updates to the vaccine as needed until the pandemic is brought under control. “We hope to prove that booster vaccines can be given in smaller doses if needed, which will allow us to distribute many more doses to the global community at the end of 2021 or even 2022, if necessary.”