Moderna lays out $322m for mRNA manufacturing plant in MA

Moderna has bought a facility in Marlborough and is planning a 60,000 square-foot expansion as it continues to invest internally.

Dan Stanton, Managing editor

May 24, 2023

2 Min Read
Moderna lays out $322m for mRNA manufacturing plant in MA
149 hayes memorial drive. Image c/o Oxford Properties

Moderna has bought an empty biomanufacturing facility in Marlborough and is planning a 60,000 square-foot expansion as it continues to invest in internal capabilities.

The agreement sees messenger RNA (mRNA) titan Moderna add a second facility in Massachusetts, a new but empty plant located at 149 Hayes Memorial Drive, bought from the Oxford Properties Group. The 24-acre parcel of land includes a 140,000 square-foot facility to house manufacturing and office space.

According to notes from a City of Marlborough public meeting, which took place this week: “Moderna has plans to add 60,000 square feet to maximum build out with a total capital investment estimated at $322,200,000 combined soft and real property costs. Additionally, they are applying for a Certified Project status from the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council for a local only application.”


149 hayes memorial drive. Image c/o Oxford Properties

The firm will also create and maintain a minimum of 200 permanent, full-time jobs at the site.

When Moderna rallied to global calls to produce a vaccine against COVID-19 in 2020, the firm relied on a host of third-party manufacturers to complement capacity at its own production plant in Norwood, Massachusetts.

Three years on, COVID-19 vaccine demand has dwindled but Moderna is working on a full pipeline of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines addressing targets including influenza and a range of latent diseases, and mRNA immuno-oncology therapeutics.

And with ample COVID-19 vaccine revenue in hand, the firm has turned its eyes on building out its production network, with the Marlborough site joining a long list of investments across the globe.

In August 2021, the firm committed to building an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Canada. Months later, plans for a $500 million facility in Africa were laid down, with the company revealing Kenya as the location several months later. A facility and training center is also being built in Australia, while plans to build a vaccine manufacturing plant in the UK were finalized in December 2022.

Concurrently, Moderna has been adjusting its relationships with several of the contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) it inked deals with during the pandemic. Moderna’s partners during the peak of the pandemic including ResilienceCatalentLonza. And while Moderna continues to use third-parties – it restated a fill/finish deal with Catalent earlier this year – it did admit to charges of $376 million related to CDMO wind-down costs in its 2022 financials.

Moderna did not respond to a request for further comment at the time of going to press.

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.

Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.

From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

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