Published: 24 June 2022
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid visited St George’s this week to announce £1bn investment in mRNA research through a new government partnership.
Mr Javid’s announcement, that vaccine manufacturer Moderna will be building a brand-new facility to produce mRNA vaccines in the UK, forms part of the government commitment to strengthen the country’s ability to respond to future health challenges.
Accompanied by Moderna Chief Executive, Stéphane Bancel, Mr Javid toured the Vaccine Institute and Clinical Research Facility, chatting with Professor Dan Forton, Professor Paul Heath, Dr Catherine Cosgrove and Trust Chief Executive Jacqueline Totterdell about the world-leading Moderna vaccine research taking place here at St George’s.
Speaking from the Vaccine Institute at St George’s about the new partnership, Mr Javid said, “mRNA is a truly transformational technology and we have seen its life-saving power during the pandemic. Thanks to this new deal, NHS patients will benefit from scientific breakthroughs and the new state-of-the-art manufacturing centre will boost our ability to respond to the next pandemic by ensuring we’re able to produce vaccines rapidly on our own shores.”
Dr Catherine Cosgrove, UK Chief Investigator in Moderna vaccine research said, “Covid-19 has brought huge costs to health and a devastating impact to society. Moderna’s Spikevax was one of the first Covid-19 vaccine to be authorised, with many millions now having received their vaccine globally. This new investment is terrific news for all the ground breaking work that is being done on Moderna in the UK, including new St George’s research about Moderna's Omicron variant vaccine and the impact of a fourth dose.”
The Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, and St George’s alumnus, Sir Patrick Valance, added, “The establishment of the Moderna mRNA Innovation and Technology Centre is great news for the UK’s research and development activities and future capabilities. Rapid cutting-edge vaccines were vital in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Developing the next generation of mRNA vaccines will be crucial in boosting our ability to prevent and respond to a wide range of diseases in the future.”
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