Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) announced it is making new funding commitments to increase global capacity to up to 3bn COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2022.
The biotech also raised its 2021 supply forecast to 800mln-1bn doses.
It previously expected to produce up to 700mln doses this year and 1.4bn in 2022.
Moderna said it will use its cash balance to fund these investments, which will start this year.
It added that this is necessary due to an expected significant need for booster vaccinations in 2022 and beyond, as waning immunity will hit the efficacy of rollouts within 12 months.
The new investments will double drug substance manufacturing at Lonza’s Swiss facility, more than double formulation, fill and finish and drug substance manufacturing at Rovi’s Spain-based facility, and increase by 50% drug substance at Moderna’s plants in the US.
Reaching the target will depend on the mix between the authorised Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at the standard dose level and potentially lower doses of the its variant booster candidates and paediatric vaccines, if authorised.
Also on Thursday, Moderna announced that its mRNA-based formulation could have a shelf life at warmer temperature than initially estimated, which will make distribution easier.
Currently, the jab is approved for storage up to one month at refrigerated temperatures of 2-8°C and up to seven months in a standard freezer -20°C. The storage at 2-8°C could be allowed for three months.
The UK has ordered 17mln doses of the inoculation, with the first ones administered earlier this month.
The stock rose 2% to US$182.22 in premarket trading.