Harwell appoints Glencar to deliver new Moderna vaccine manufacturing hub in Oxfordshire

April 11th, 2023

Glencar has today announced that it has been appointed by Harwell Campus, the world-renowned science and innovation campus, to build a new £150M Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre (MITC) at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire.

The MITC development will encompass a research, development and manufacturing facility, providing the UK public with access to cutting-edge mRNA vaccines for a wide range of respiratory diseases, pending regulatory assessment and license.
The new facility will also include a clinical biomarker laboratory -a prefabricated modular laboratory constructed in Northumberland, which will then be installed on the campus.

Construction will begin this year, with the facility expected to become operational in 2025, subject to planning and regulatory approvals. The investment will create hundreds of jobs across Oxfordshire and the UK. It will cement Harwell Campus as a national health tech hub for the pioneering research and development of mRNA and other nucleic acid therapeutics.

Commenting on the project, Eddie McGillycuddy, CEO, said: “Having successfully delivered The Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) and established a life science office within the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, we are absolutely delighted to now be delivering this pioneering research and development facility.

Life science and pharmaceutical projects are complex, controlled environments that require significant design and engineering ability to ensure they are delivered correctly. We have expanded our specialist team within this space to push forward and make these facilities a cornerstone of our continued growth in the coming years.

We very much look forward to working with the team at Moderna and Merit to develop this important new facility and further expand the thriving health tech cluster at Harwell”.

Also Commenting on the announcement Darius Hughes, UK General Manager at Moderna, said: “We are delighted to reach this important milestone with Harwell and our lab build partners, Merit and building contractors Glencar. 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 spaces that promote innovation and encourage collaboration.”

Dr Barbara Ghinelli, Director of Innovation Clusters and Harwell Campus at UKRI-STFC, said: “The Harwell Health Tech cluster’s multidisciplinary ecosystem allows researchers and industry professionals to easily share expertise and skills, creating impactful innovation across the entire life sciences sector. From accelerating the discovery and development of new vaccines and advanced medicines, to leading the way with next generation imaging technologies and diagnostics, the cluster is enabling ground-breaking progress against global health challenges.”

Moderna is the latest organisation to join Harwell’s thriving Health Tech cluster which has grown to over 70 life science organisations since it launched in 2016.