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Moderna selects Harwell Science Campus to develop Moderna innovation and technology centre

Moderna, Inc, a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, has announced Harwell, the UK’s leading science and innovation campus in Oxfordshire, as the location of its Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre (MITC). This milestone follows the finalisation of Moderna’s ten-year strategic partnership with the UK government, announced in December 2022.

The MITC will encompass research, development and a manufacturing facility, which aims to provide the UK public with access to mRNA vaccines for a wide range of respiratory diseases, pending independent regulatory assessment and licensure. The MITC will include a clinical biomarker laboratory that will be constructed by the offsite construction and engineering specialist Merit. The Drug Substance and Manufacturing facility will be fitted out by Birmingham based engineering firm IPS.

Darius Hughes, UK General Manager at Moderna, said: “We are delighted to reach this important milestone – we look forward to joining the Harwell Campus health tech cluster and contributing to the UK’s science and innovation community through investments in R&D. When constructed, our facility at Harwell will harness mRNA science that aims to develop and deliver innovative vaccines to the UK public that address emerging threats from respiratory viruses facing our population.”

The Moderna investment will create hundreds of jobs during construction and operation. Construction will begin in 2023 and the manufacturing facility is expected to become operational in 2025, subject to local planning and other necessary approvals.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Moderna’s new Innovation and Technology Centre means NHS patients will have access to cutting-edge mRNA vaccines to fight against future variants of Covid, as well as other respiratory viruses, while also creating hundreds of jobs.

“Harwell is already leading science and innovation in the UK and we look forward to the opening of this new mRNA centre.”

Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce have been supporting Moderna since 2021 with factors such as site searches and planning, as part of the Chambers’ partnership and wider working with the Department of Business & Trade, sector teams and cross Government teams.

Moderna are also Chair of the Chamber’s Local Skills Improvement Plan Advisory Group for Berkshire and Oxfordshire and supporting work to deliver and develop talent into the health and life sciences sector.

Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Paul Britton said “I am delighted that Moderna and partners from the UK Government commenced construction of the Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre, at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire. I am proud that the chamber was involved in securing foreign direct investment into the region, the facility will significantly strengthen the UK’s vaccine and research abilities, placing the UK at the global forefront of the Health and Lifesciences sector.”

“The UK has a long track record of medicines manufacturing from leading global companies.  The news that Moderna have chosen Oxfordshire for this landmark UK investment reflects the capability of the science and research community in Oxfordshire and the wider Thames Valley”

Sue Staunton, Managing Partner, and Head of Life Sciences at James Cowper Kreston said: ‘ As Chair of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Health and Life Sciences Working Group, I was delighted to welcome a full house of companies, including Moderna where I heard about the Chambers work to support Moderna to secure foreign direct investment in the region. Partnerships such as the one we have with Moderna, will enable the UK to remain agile in our response to health threats as they emerge, and the growing Health and Life Sciences cluster in the UK.’

Minister for Investment Dominic Johnson said: “My recent visit to the Harwell Campus was a great insight into the brilliant and innovative minds that help make the UK’s life sciences sector the third in the world for number of inward investment projects. Moderna’s ten-year partnership with the government has made it a key partner in the UK’s journey to become a science and technology superpower. I greatly look forward to seeing this put into practice, boosting economic growth, generating high-value jobs, and supporting our NHS.”

Dame Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of UKHSA, said: “I look forward to continuing our work with Moderna as we strengthen our vaccine development and research capabilities, placing us at the forefront of new science and improving our ability to protect the nation from respiratory diseases and any future pandemics. Moderna’s new centre in Oxfordshire also brings an important boost to our UK life sciences economy and our onshore vaccine manufacturing capability.”

Stuart Grant, Chief Executive of Harwell Campus said: “mRNA technology has the capability to transform how we treat a variety of diseases and enhance UK resilience against future pandemics. I’m delighted that Moderna has chosen the campus as its home to grow its globally important life sciences research and development and manufacturing capabilities, a move which will boost UK innovation, and investment in this breakthrough technology.” 



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