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Gareth Carpenter
11 Oct 2021

CPhI Webinar: mRNA vaccines, Trends, Technologies and Supply Chain

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant scientists, together with pharmaceutical companies, have had to reinvent how to bring vaccines to market faster without impacting product quality, safety, or efficacy, according to experts speaking at a recent CPhI webinar.

This CPhI Webinar available on-demand tackled some of the key lessons learned from the COVID 19 situation, the role, application, and potential of mRNA vaccines technologies, and also some of the challenges and considerations for achieving a robust global vaccine supply chain.

Dan Chancellor, Thought Leadership Director, Informa Pharma Intelligence said that while RNA has a long history of development, it has only recently entered mainstream R&D, with messenger RNA vaccines and therapies propelling the surge.

“The recent growth rate of mRNA, where it’s grown 200% in the last two years far exceeds any other hot new drug modality such as cell and gene therapies or RNA interference,” he said. “mRNA really is the hottest area of drug development in the industry today and a large reason for this is the success the mRNA vaccines have had against COVID.”

Vincenza Pironti, Global SME, Steriles, Thermo Fisher Scientific told the webinar that the pandemic had meant pharmaceutical companies and contract manufacturing organisations had changed the way they negotiated contracts “because most of the commercial fill/finish manufacturing capacity was secured at-risk.”

She added that another important point behind having global distribution of vaccines within such a strict timeline was linked to know-how transfer: “This can be possible only when inside a network are present different sites with different lines which can together work to cover and accommodate the manufacturing of billions of doses.”

Focusing on the supply chain considerations around mRNA vaccines, Scott Emery, Global Commercial Director, Thermo Fisher Scientific said there were three main areas of challenge which required immediate changes and adjustments: transportation management, temperature management and shipping container supply availability.

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Gareth Carpenter