A potential single shot COVID-19 vaccine will be produced at Catalent, Inc.’s biomanufacturing facility in Madison.
Somerset, New Jersey-based Catalent and San Diego-based Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. announced Monday they are partnering to manufacture a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine candidate. The LUNAR-COV19 vaccine will be produced at Catalent Biologics’ 103,000-square-foot facility at 726 Heartland Trail in Madison.
This is just one of several COVID-19 vaccine development projects happening around the world. There is no guarantee that any of them will be proven to be effective at protecting people from the virus and safe for human use. But some vaccine developers, including Catalent and Arcturus, are moving to begin mass producing the vaccine that they are developing in hopes that it will be proven to be effective and safe, will be approved by the government for use and can then be made available to the public as soon as possible.
Catalent and Arcturus said preparations are already underway at the Madison facility and they are planning to meet global demand for the vaccine on “unprecedented manufacturing timelines.” Technology transfer will be completed this month and the first batches of the vaccine are expected to be completed by June.
The companies plan to produce millions of doses of LUNAR-COV19 mRNA in 2020 and potentially hundreds of millions of doses annually for worldwide use, they said.
The vaccine utilizes Arcturus’ self-transcribing and replicating mRNA technology and its lipid-mediated delivery to produce an “extraordinarily low dose” vaccine, the companies said.
The vaccine program will take advantage of the Catalent facility’s flex-suite, a cGMP manufacturing suite that can produce batches at multiple scales and support Arcturus’ mRNA manufacturing process, the companies said.
“Catalent is proud to partner with Arcturus in the pursuit of a vaccine that could protect people against the coronavirus pandemic,” said John Chiminski, chair and chief executive officer of Catalent. “Our unique experience and flex-suite cGMP capacity will enable rapid scale-up of Arcturus’ proprietary manufacturing process to make the vaccine available as soon as possible.”