This is Moderna’s state-of-the-art laboratory in Madrid, the first messenger RNA laboratory outside the U.S.
The architect of one of the vaccines against covid-19 that represented a lifesaver for humanity in the midst of the pandemic, the biotechnology company Moderna inaugurated this Thursday in Madrid its International Center of Analytical Excellence. This is the company’s first laboratory dedicated to testing its messenger RNA (mRNA) sera outside the United States before distributing them in 60 markets outside the United States.
The new facility, located in the OM Infinity building in the Madbit business complex, will enable analytical testing to certify batches of mRNA-based vaccines. With the opening of this center, in which the pharmaceutical company has invested 22 million euros, Spain has become the Moderna’s largest integrated production center outside the USA. and the only one capable of covering the entire production and manufacturing process of these compounds in the European Union.
The center is located on the fourth floor of the building, neighboring that of the Spanish pharmaceutical company Rovi, with which Moderna has signed a collaboration agreement to increase the manufacturing capacity of its covid-19 serums and whose investment amounts to 500 million euros. In total, it has 3,700 square metersof which 1,625 are devoted to the laboratory, which is divided into two main areas.
Two main areas
The first of the two zones comprising the facility, known as AS&T, is intended for. analytical method validations and transfertesting of research samples, technical support for analytical troubleshooting and support for staff training.
The second is dedicated to the quality controlwhich will focus on performing analyses of mRNA compounds to ensure that they meet the appropriate requirements before being distributed to the market. This group has the capacity to address the full analytical panel, including imported products and those manufactured by external EU laboratories.
In addition, the headquarters has a room Lighthouse for the introduction of new technologies and digital tools and another in which onboarding and continuing education programs for laboratory personnel will be provided. There are also a space devoted to microbiology.where tests will be carried out to ensure the absence of microorganisms in the products, and another one oriented to bioassaysin which tests will be carried out to measure the biological reaction of compounds, as well as a warehouse to supply all the laboratories.
The facilities are completed by the offices, with a surface area of about 900 square meters.The former also includes a reception area, common areas, a conference room, a cafeteria and a wellbeingmeeting rooms, offices and a office.
150 million vaccines evaluated per year.
The center will employ 80 employeesof which 25 will work in the laboratory and 55 in the offices, and is expected to be fully operational “in autumn-winter or, at the latest, at the beginning of next year”, as reported to 20minutos Moderna’s general manager for Spain and Portugal, Juan Carlos Gil.
For the time being, the facilities will be intended for the validation of the vaccines marketed by the biotech company, ie, the existing one against covid. However, the laboratory is “analytically and methodologically prepared” to evaluate all those for respiratory viruses, as well as “those to be included in the catalog in the future”.
The laboratory will be able to evaluate 250 batches of 60,000 vials, each containing ten vaccines. This translates into 150 million per year
As for the capacity of the Madrid laboratory, it will initially be able to evaluate 250 batches of 60,000 vials, each containing ten vaccines. “This translates into 150 million a year.”Gil says.