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Consortium enters pandemic readiness

Following an expansion and qualification phase, the consortium formed by Wacker Chemie and CordenPharma in Germany officially entered ‘pandemic readiness’ for the production of mRNA-based vaccines as of 1 June. They are now in stand-by phase and will receive a fee from the government for keeping their capacity and expertise available for at least five years. In all, they will be able to produce 80 million doses/year at short notice.

Wacker would produce the essential starting material plasmid DNA and mRNA, and formulate it using lipid nanoparticles at the site in Halle, where it recently established its mRNA Competence Centre (pictured). CordenPharma, meanwhile, would manufacture custom and standard lipids, and provide aseptic fill-finish and packaging at sites in Germany, France and Italy. During the qualification phase, the company invested in new lipid purification capacity and capabilities using supercritical fluid chromatography, plus compounding and freezing equipment.

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