Biotech giant Moderna has announced plans for an innovation and technology centre at Harwell Campus.

The Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre (MITC) will be an R&D and manufacturing space, largely in two buildings, totalling 145,000 sq ft, where mRNA vaccines will be developed.

The MITC will also include a modular lab called a clinical biomarker laboratory that will be constructed offsite by Merit in Northumberland and then installed at Harwell.

Construction on the MITC will begin this year and should be in operation by 2025.

Darius Hughes, UK general manager for Moderna, said: “We are delighted to reach this important milestone with Harwell and our lab build partners, Merit.

“We look forward to joining the Harwell Campus health tech cluster and contributing to the UK’s science and innovation community through investments in R&D. When constructed, our facility at Harwell will harness mRNA science to develop and deliver tailored, innovative vaccines to the UK public that address particular threats from respiratory viruses facing our population.”

Stuart Grant, chief executive of Harwell Campus, said: “mRNA technology has the capability to transform how we treat a variety of diseases and enhance UK resilience against future pandemics.

“I’m delighted to welcome Moderna to Harwell campus, and our thriving health tech cluster. We’re entering a new era of medicine so it’s important that we deliver and build cutting edge facilities to reflect this and create spaces that promote innovation and encourage collaboration.”

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