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Moderna looks to build COVID vaccine plant in Japan, CEO says

Pharmaceutical first needs government to agree to long-term purchases of shots

Sep 15 (Nikkei) - Moderna, the U.S. pharmaceutical that brought mRNA technology to the fight against COVID-19, is considering building a factory in Japan to produce its vaccines, CEO Stephane Bancel told Nikkei on Wednesday.

Construction would start if the Japanese government signs a long-term deal, perhaps 10 years, during which it would be obligated to buy vaccines.

Bancel said Moderna would like to build a plant in Japan, adding that it wants to centralize all processes, including manufacturing, in one facility. Location and other details remain undetermined, but the plant would be able to produce COVID, flu and other vaccines, Bancel said.

The construction of the facility is predicated on "having a contract for a set period of time [for vaccine purchases]" with the government, he said. He specifically envisions entering into a 10-year partnership. The company is negotiating with the government, and Bancel said Moderna aims to do "the same as we did in Canada, the U.K., Australia and elsewhere," where it has signed similar contracts. ...continue reading

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