Amid mRNA raw materials bottleneck, Biotage opens new UK production facility

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Cardiff center will help produce lipids that are necessary for mRNA Covid vaccines

Biotage, a Swedish biotech company that provides products for the purification of large-scale lipids that are used in mRNA vaccine development and production, is growing its production capacity of large-scale flash columns by 300%. How exactly? The company is helping pharma brands and contract manufacturers scale up lipid production for Covid-19 vaccines at a new production facility that is now up and running at the Biotage site in Cardiff, UK.

The news comes at a time when availability of raw materials for mRNA vaccine production has been a major bottleneck, as the lipids that were needed for new lipid nanoparticles (LNPs)—particle formulations that are used in mRNA vaccines—were not previously available on the large scale that was necessary to manufacture billions of doses of vaccine worldwide.

Company officials note that the new Cardiff facility will enable Biotage to meet the increase in demand, without any disruption to existing clients already producing activie pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), fine chemicals, natural products or in other markets.

“Our customers needed to manufacture their products on a significantly larger scale, and we were able to invest in an expansion of our existing production facilities to support their requirements," says Anders Wikström, Biotage’s executive vice president of operations. "We were very pleased to be able to deliver this expansion in just over four months in order to meet the needs of present and potential new clients.”

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