OEM : Pharmaceutical
Every cell in the body uses mRNA to provide real-time instructions to make the proteins necessary to drive all aspects of biology, including in human health and disease. Given its essential role, we believe mRNA could be used to create a new category of medicines with significant potential to improve the lives of patients. We are pioneering a new class of medicines made of messenger RNA, or mRNA. The potential implications of using mRNA as a drug are significant and far-reaching and could meaningfully improve how medicines are discovered, developed and manufactured.
Why We Can't Make Vaccine Doses Any Faster
The Trump administration deployed the Defense Production Act last year to give vaccine manufacturers priority in accessing crucial production supplies before anyone else could buy them. And the Biden administration used it to help Pfizer obtain specialized needles that can squeeze a sixth dose from the company’s vials, as well as for two critical manufacturing components: filling pumps and tangential flow filtration units. The pumps help supply the lipid nanoparticles that hold and protect the mRNA — the vaccines’ active ingredient, so to speak — and also fill vials with finished vaccine. The filtration units remove unneeded solutions and other materials used in the manufacturing process.
These highly precise pieces of equipment are not typically available on demand, said Matthew Johnson, senior director of product management at Duke University’s Human Vaccine Institute, who works on developing mRNA vaccines, but not for COVID-19. “Right now, there is so much growth in biopharmaceuticals, plus the pinch of the pandemic,” he said. “Many equipment suppliers are sold out of production, and even products scheduled to be made, in some cases, sold out for a year or so looking forward.”
Inside one of the new, quick-build factories making the Moderna vaccine
The race to produce as much of the new vaccine as possible goes through these factories, which were spun up much faster than usual by building the shells before the vaccine production process was finalized.
The story of mRNA: How a once-dismissed idea became a leading technology in the Covid vaccine race
The liquid that many hope could help end the Covid-19 pandemic is stored in a nondescript metal tank in a manufacturing complex owned by Pfizer, one of the world’s biggest drug companies. There is nothing remarkable about the container, which could fit in a walk-in closet, except that its contents could end up in the world’s first authorized Covid-19 vaccine.
Pfizer, a 171-year-old Fortune 500 powerhouse, has made a billion-dollar bet on that dream. So has a brash, young rival just 23 miles away in Cambridge, Mass. Moderna, a 10-year-old biotech company with billions in market valuation but no approved products, is racing forward with a vaccine of its own. Its new sprawling drug-making facility nearby is hiring workers at a fast clip in the hopes of making history — and a lot of money.