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Moderna To Expand Campus Where Covid Vaccines Are Produced

The Moderna facility in Norwood.

Moderna is more than doubling the size of its Norwood campus to meet its Covid vaccine production goal of up to a billion doses by the end of the year.

The Kendall Square-based biotechnology firm will expand its manufacturing lab site at its Moderna Technology Center from 300K SF to approximately 650K SF, it announced Tuesday.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, which purchased the site at One Investors Way for $105M last month, secured a 12-year lease with Moderna while placing the site immediately into redevelopment. Terms of the lease and redevelopment cost were not disclosed.

“We believe that this investment and expansion at our technology center will allow us to continue to optimize our mRNA products as we explore new pharmaceutical delivery forms such as prefilled syringes and lyophilized products,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.

The MTC, which opened in 2018, produces most of the company's U.S. supply of Covid vaccines, Moderna said. The site is made up of two buildings: MTC South, a 200K SF good manufacturing practices facility and MTC North, a 240K SF lab and office building. MTC South has two 10-year lease extension options, while MTC North has four optional five-year lease extensions. 

Moderna claims production of its Covid vaccine will ramp up by 50% in late 2021 and early 2022, bringing a global projection of up to 3 billion doses depending on potential booster vaccines. The company expects a supply of between 800 million to 1 billion doses by the end of this year. 

Swiss biotech company Lonza and its U.S.-based facilities will aid Moderna’s vaccine production goal, the companies announced last week. Moderna said a portion of the $483M in federal funding it was awarded last spring will establish Lonza's U.S. operations, although how much Lonza will receive is unclear.

Alexandria, which counts the three U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency-authorized vaccine producers in its tenant portfolio, said its investment will aid Moderna’s capacity to produce medicines beyond just Covid vaccines.

“The variances are going to cause changes in what the vaccine needs to do, and so we felt that, as the go-to-landlord for Moderna, this was in both of our interests to make it happen,” Alexandria Executive Chairman Joel Marcus said in the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call last month.