UK life sciences sector response to COVID-19 key for Moderna investment

Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association and former member of the UK Vaccine Taskforce in 2020 said: “UK innovators look forward to welcoming the Moderna team into our collaborative and capable community.  The UK’s life science ecosystem’s innovation base, with Moderna’s new mRNA Innovation and Technology Centre and additional mRNA manufacturing centre stage, is now superbly placed to ensure the next generation of mRNA technologies, including next generation vaccines, are developed and manufactured for the globe from the UK." 

The UK has attracted key investments into its mRNA infrastructure since 2020: 

  • Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies announced a £400m investment into creating the UK’s largest multi modal biopharmaceutical manufacturing site in Billingham, which will see expansion of cell culture, viral vector and gene therapy facilities, as well as new capabilities in mRNA production.
  • The Centre of Process Innovation (CPI) have created a new RNA Centre of Excellence and mRNA training academy in Darlington  which will soon be online and is already being recognised by global players for this emerging skill advantage.
  • Croda were awarded a £15.9 million grant by the UK Government in 2022 to expand its manufacturing facility in Leek, Staffordshire. The investment will significantly enhance the development of high-purity lipid systems, essential delivery systems for next generation nucleic acid drugs such as mRNA vaccines.
  • ThermoFisher has made an £80m investment into its Swindon, UK site, the expansion includes two new sterile fill/finish lines for liquid and lyophilized filling, as well as extensive cold chain storage for vaccines requiring ultra-low temperatures. 
  • New companies have emerged in the UK life sciences sector, AstraZeneca reached an agreement to collaborate with VaxEquity for the discovery, development and commercialisation of the proprietary self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) therapeutics platform developed at Imperial College London


 Notes to Editors


  1. For more information, please contact Jack Fellows, Strategic Communications and Media Manager at the BIA, [email protected]
  2. FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies confirms £400 million investment plans to create the largest multi-modal biopharmaceutical manufacturing site in the United Kingdom
  3. New RNA Centre of Excellence and Training Academy to become beacon for RNA R&D
  4. UK Government to support expansion of Croda's lipid systems manufacturing facility
  5. Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Pharma Services team is expanding its Swindon, UK site
  6. AstraZeneca to discover and develop self-amplifying RNA therapeutics in new collaboration with VaxEquity