Thermo Fisher Scientific to Produce Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine in Greenville
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine will soon have a figurative “made in North Carolina” stamp.
Thermo Fisher Scientific, a contract manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, will begin making “hundreds of millions of doses” of the vaccine at its Greenville facilities this summer under an agreement with Moderna announced this week.
“Thermo Fisher has been a critical partner in supplying raw materials for our COVID-19 vaccine, and we are now pleased to further expand our relationship as an important manufacturing partner as well,” said Juan Andres, Moderna’s chief technical operations and quality officer. “The addition of Thermo Fisher to our network will support our efforts to scale up our manufacturing ability.”
Production in Greenville will include fill/finish sterile manufacturing services and supply packaging.
“We are very proud that our Greenville site will be supporting customers like Moderna as part of their effort to expand production of its vaccine,” said Michelle Logan, vice president and general manager of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Greenville facility.
Moderna is aiming to expand global supply of its vaccine by up to 3 billion doses by 2022.
The company’s production agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific “is great news, as it further demonstrates the confidence of customers in the capabilities and services that are offered by Thermo Fisher Scientific,” said Mark Phillips, vice president of statewide operations and executive director of the Eastern Office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
“Also, as the Greenville facility continues to expand its operations, this agreement with Moderna further signifies the importance of increasing its operational capacity to fulfill customer needs.”
The Moderna deal comes amid a recent expansion of the Greenville facility announced in December 2020. The expansion will create about 500 new jobs in the next two years, bringing the site’s employment total to about 2,000.
The centerpiece of the expansion will be a new 130,000-square-foot facility for sterile drug development and commercial manufacturing of critical medicines, therapies and vaccines. The facility is expected to be operational by 2022.
Moderna, based in Cambridge, Mass., signed a production agreement with Samsung Biologics in May similar to the Thermo Fisher Scientific deal. That contract will yield millions of vaccine doses at Samsung’s production facilities in Incheon, South Korea, for markets outside the United States.
Moderna’s vaccine, called mRNA-1273, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in December 2020.
This week the company applied to the FDA for full approval of the vaccine for use in people 18 and older. Full approval would allow Moderna to market the vaccine directly to consumers and could also make it easier for companies, schools, governments and the military to require vaccinations.