White House Investing Billions To Boost Biomanufacturing, mRNA Technology
The Biden administration plans to allocate billions of dollars to upgrade mRNA vaccine manufacturing capacity, part of a bid to prep for the next pandemic that may have significant second-order benefits for the life sciences.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeffrey Zients said the program could expand global capacity by an additional billion doses per year, starting in the second half of 2022, Endpoints News reports.
The outlines of the program are still taking shape, but the massive mobilization of biomanufacturing capacity would likely run in the billions of dollars. The administration has reached out to industry partners, and would need to work with Pfizer, Moderna or some of the contract manufacturers they employ.
A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would create a grant program to award money to manufacturers to create training centers and ramp up production capacity.
Expanded mRNA production capacity — meaning more factories where the vaccines would be produced, and more investment in construction and development — would provide a significant boost to mRNA technology, which is being rapidly expanded as many companies and startups seek to develop new vaccines and therapeutics using the process. Expanded mRNA capacity is also key to plans to improve our reaction to the next pandemic — such programs have been proposed by Dr. Anthony Fauci and others.