Wacker Introduces mRNA Competence Center in Germany


The contract manufacturer financially committed over $107 million into the facility, which can reportedly handle large-scale manufacturing of active ingredients based on messenger ribonucleic acid.

Image Credit: Wacker

Image Credit: Wacker

Wacker Biotech, a therapeutic protein contract manufacturer, recently opened up an mRNA competence center at its biotech site in Halle (Saale), Germany.1 The new facility—which broke ground in 20222 and was funded for $107 million—has the capability to handle large-scale manufacturing of active ingredients based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), including mRNA vaccines to combat COVID-19.

As a result, more than 100 jobs have been created for the city of Halle. With four new production lines adding to the site’s capacity, the site’s capabilities have now more than tripled; as part of its pandemic-preparedness program, the German government will be able to use a portion of those lines as part of its pandemic-preparedness program, while the remaining services are for other customers. Further growing the Halle site to include an mRNA competence center allows Wacker to opportunity to design mRNA actives on a more global scale.

“The opening of our mRNA competence center in Halle is a milestone for Wacker. This is where we will be producing active ingredients for the medicines of tomorrow—not only for the German government, but for other customers too,” commented Christian Hartel, Wacker’s CEO. “Our expertise in making mRNA vaccines will contribute to the fight against future pandemics. It has taken us just two years to build a high-tech production facility with an annual capacity of more than 200 million vaccine doses—an unrivaled achievement in this field, which demonstrates true German efficiency.”

This aforementioned mRNA technology—although often recognized for its impact on vaccines— opens the door to provide benefits in the oncology space as well.

“Medicine is making great strides thanks to mRNA technology, which isn’t just confined to vaccines. For instance, this technology gives us an opportunity to offer cancer patients targeted support going forward,” said Melanie Käsmarker, managing director of Wacker Biotech, who produces active ingredients in Halle (along with other sites) for market and clinical trials. “Based in Halle, we’ll be able to meet the globally rising demand for mRNA actives.”

“The importance of medical biotechnology is on the rise. More than half of the new active ingredients approved in Germany are now biopharmaceuticals and the percentage of mRNA therapeutic agents will continue to grow. That’s why I am delighted that we have an efficient biotechnology hub at the Halle research site, with Wacker Biotech as a driver of innovation,” noted Armin Willingmann, Saxony-Anhalt’s Science Minister, one of the individuals who attend the opening of the mRNA competence center.

Companies had the opportunity to apply for pandemic-preparedness contracts with the German government, and as joint bidders for the production readiness of mRNA-based vaccines, Wacker and CordenPharma were among those companies awarded a contract. In the event of a new pandemic, WACKER and CordenPharma intend to produce 80 million vaccine doses a year, and for at least five years, will be compensated with a yearly stand-by fee for keeping production capacity and expertise at the ready.

In other news, Wacker Chemie AG opened a new 193,750 square-foot corporate headquarters in Munich, which reportedly has “sustainable building technology.”3 The office spans five floors and provides enough space for 600 employees.


1. Wacker Opens mRNA Competence Center in Halle an der Saale, Germany. Wacker. June 3, 2024. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://www.wacker.com/cms/en-us/about-wacker/press-and-media/press/press-releases/2024/detail-234176.html

2. Wacker to Begin Building mRNA Actives Competence Center. Pharmaceutical Commerce. July 12, 2022. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://www.pharmaceuticalcommerce.com/view/wacker-to-begin-building-mrna-actives-competence-center

3. Wacker Opens New Headquarters in Munich’s Werksviertel District. Wacker. June 14, 2024. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://www.wacker.com/cms/en-us/about-wacker/press-and-media/press/press-releases/2024/detail-234816.html

Recent Videos
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.