Wacker and CordenPharma expand vaccine production capacity, enhancing ‘pandemic readiness’

Published: 21-Jun-2024

The expansion follows an initiative the German government have launched to be 'pandemic ready', and boosts the duo's mRNA vaccine manufacturing capabilities

Wacker and CordenPharma have declared themselves ‘pandemic ready’ following a successful expansion and qualification phase of their vaccine production line.

This initiative was established due to the vaccine shortage experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic; with the German government making the decision to secure its future supply of vaccines.

The companies are now in the stand-by phase for a minimum of five years, meaning if there is any unexpected need for a large quantity of mRNA-based vaccinations, they can provide such supplies.


Bolstering manufacturing capabilities 

After the expansion Wacker and CordenPharma can produce 80 million vaccine doses in a short timeframe.

The companies will receive a fee to maintain this production capacity for the five year stand-by period.

A majority of the manufacturing process will take place in Germany — though all steps will occur within the European Union.

In its site in Halle (Germany), Wacker will produce plasmid DNA (pDNA), which is an essential starting material for the manufacture of mRNA, as well as the mRNA active and LNPs.

As part of the consortium, CordenPharma is ready to manufacture custom and standard lipids in their Frankfurt (DE) and Chenôve (FR) sites, as well as provide aseptic fill & finish and packaging of the chosen mRNA-based vaccine at their Caponago (IT) facility.

Two years of investments

During the two-year qualification phase, CordenPharma successfully invested in multiple expansions — including new lipid purification capacity and capabilities utilising Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC) and new freezing and compounding equipment. 
As well as the expansion of capacity and equipment, Wacker and CordenPharma have strengthened their supplier network and production security. 

CEO of Wacker, Dr Christian Hartel, commented: “We have expanded our Halle site into a Competence Center for mRNA production, Wacker has invested over EUR €100m in this expansion, while creating more than 100 highly qualified jobs. Our expertise in making mRNA and LNPs will contribute to the fight against future pandemics. Together with CordenPharma, we are proud to serve the German government in its pandemic preparedness plans.”

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