SINGAPORE (May 1): Swiss pharmaceutical company Lonza Group, which has a secondary listing on SGX, has announced a ten-year deal with US-based Moderna to undertake large scale manufacturing of the latter’s mRNA-1273, which is a vaccine that is being tested for use against the novel coronavirus. 

Under the terms of the agreement, the two parties plan to establish manufacturing suites at Lonza’s facilities in the US and Switzerland for the manufacture of mRNA-1273.

Nasdaq-listed Moderna will start to transfer the know-how to Lonza in June this year, and the two parties are targeting the first batches of the mRNA-1273 to be made the following month. 

Over time, the parties intend to expand annual production capacity to up to 1 billion doses of mRNA-1273 – on the assumption that each dosage requires of 50 µg. 

The manufacturing facilities at Lonza complement Moderna’s ongoing US manufacturing efforts, which is being geared up for further clinical development and commercialization of the mRNA-1273.

The mRNA-1273 is now being put through a multi-stage approval process by the US Food and Drug Administration. 

Nasdaq-listed Moderna was one of the seven companies outside Singapore flagged by The Edge Singapore in our most recent print issue, that are trying to make either cure or vaccines to counter the Covid-19 outbreak.

See also: Regulators keep watch as companies jump on Covid-19 bandwagon

The others are Gilead Sciences; Vir Biotechnology; Inovio Pharmaceuticals; Novavax; Vaxart; and AIM ImmunoTech.

Separately, SGX-listed Q&M Dental Group and Biolidics are in various stages of getting into the Covid-19 test kit business.

Lonza was quoted on the SGX since 2011 but has not gained much investors’ interest here, with scant trading volume.

Lonza, quoted on the SIX, last traded at CHF421.4, has gained 18.9% year to date, valuing the company at CHF31.4 billion, and a historical price earnings ratio of 41.24 times.