Moderna & Catalent Announce Collaboration for Fill-Finish Manufacturing of Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate


Moderna, Inc. and Catalent, Inc. recently announced a collaboration for large-scale, commercial fill-finish manufacturing of Moderna’s mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate (mRNA-1273) at Catalent’s biologics facility in Bloomington, IN.

As part of the agreement, Catalent will provide vial filling and packaging capacity, as well as additional staffing required for 24 x 7 manufacturing operations at the site to support production of an initial 100 million doses of the vaccine candidate intended to supply the U.S. market starting in the third quarter of 2020. The companies are in discussions to secure fill-finish capacity for continued production of hundreds of millions of additional doses.

Catalent will also provide clinical supply services from its facilities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including packaging and labeling, as well as storage and distribution to support Moderna’s Phase 3 clinical study for this candidate.

“We appreciate this collaboration with Catalent and the flexibility of their team to deliver critical fill-finish capacity for mRNA-1273 at unprecedented speed,” said Juan Andres, Moderna’s Chief Technical Operations and Quality Officer. “It has been wonderful to see both teams working together to support the common good.”

Catalent is proud to partner with Moderna in its work to address this critical public health need,” commented John Chiminski, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Catalent. “Catalent’s proven expertise in manufacturing scale-up and commercial production are well suited to support Moderna’s efforts to prepare for wide-scale supply of this vaccine candidate so that it is available if appropriate to address the pandemic.”

Catalent’s state-of-the-art 875,000 square-foot biologics facility in Bloomington will undertake this vial filling work under barrier isolator technology. Moderna will leverage the site’s recent packaging expansion, which provides fully automated and high-speed packaging capabilities to accelerate manufacturing timelines. The facility has deep expertise in sterile formulation, with drug substance development and manufacturing and drug product fill-finish capacity across liquid and lyophilized vials, prefilled syringes, and cartridges, as well as primary and secondary packaging. In addition to its Bloomington location, the Catalent Biologics network has facilities in Brussels, Belgium and Anagni, Italy that perform sterile drug product manufacturing and packaging, and in the United States and Europe for manufacturing proteins, viral vectors for gene therapies and cell therapies, as well as providing pre-filled syringe manufacture and biologics analytical services.

mRNA-1273 is an mRNA vaccine candidate against COVID-19 encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein, which was selected by Moderna in collaboration with investigators from Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). On June 11, 2020, Moderna announced that enrollment of younger adults (n=300) and the sentinel group of older adults (n=50) in its Phase 2 study of mRNA-1273 was complete, and that its Phase 3 study of approximately 30,000 participants, is expected to begin in July 2020.

Moderna is advancing messenger RNA (mRNA) science to create a new class of transformative medicines for patients. mRNA medicines are designed to direct the body’s cells to produce intracellular, membrane or secreted proteins that can have a therapeutic or preventive benefit and have the potential to address a broad spectrum of diseases. The company’s platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, providing Moderna the capability to pursue in parallel a robust pipeline of new development candidates. Moderna is developing therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, independently and with strategic collaborators.

Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, Moderna currently has strategic alliances for development programs with AstraZeneca PLC and Merck & Co., Inc., as well as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past five years. For more information, visit www.modernatx.com.

Catalent is the leading global provider of advanced delivery technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, and consumer health products. With over 85 years serving the industry, Catalent has proven expertise in bringing more customer products to market faster, enhancing product performance and ensuring reliable global clinical and commercial product supply. Catalent employs over 13,500 people, including over 2,400 scientists and technicians, at more than 40 facilities, and in fiscal year 2019 generated over $2.5 billion in annual revenue. Catalent is headquartered in Somerset, NJ. For more information, visit www.catalent.com.