Catalent has expanded its collaboration with Moderna to dedicate a new high-speed vial filling line to manufacture its Covid-19 vaccine and other programmes in the pipeline.

In June last year, the company has agreed to provide aseptic vial filling and packaging services for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine from its biologics facility in Bloomington, Indiana.

The initial agreement also includes the provision of staffing required for 24×7 manufacturing to support the production of an initial 100 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine.

Under the expanded agreement, Catalent will dedicate a new high-speed filling line at the Bloomington site to manufacture Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine through June 2023.

The high-speed filling line will be used for manufacturing other investigational programmes in the biotech company’s clinical pipeline.

In addition to manufacturing, Catalent would also provide inspection, labelling, cartoning, and final packaging for the programmes.

Moderna chief technical operations and quality officer Juan Andres said: “We appreciate this expanded collaboration with Catalent and the dedication of their team.

“This additional fill-finish capacity will be important for not only our Covid-19 vaccine, but also potentially for other programs in our clinical development pipeline.”

Catalent has announced a $50m investment in September 2020, for installing a high-speed vial filling line at its Bloomington facility.

Leveraging its experience in facility and capacity expansion, the company advanced the project from an estimated 18 months period to nearly 10 months, which will be completed in April 2021.

With the new line dedicated to Moderna, the manufacturing site can free up the capacity on existing lines for other important customer programmes.

Catalent president and chief operating officer Alessandro Maselli said: “Catalent’s partnership with Moderna began in 2016, when we had only glimpsed the potential applications of mRNA and could not have guessed how pivotal mRNA would become in the fight against Covid-19.

“We are proud to announce this extension of our companies’ strategic collaboration, and we look forward to further demonstrating our commercial manufacturing expertise as we help supply more vaccine doses.”