The plant – known as GMP IV – will be located at Curvac’s headquarters. It is intended for commercial production and will have capacity to make 30 million doses of RNA-based medicines a year when fully operational in 2019.
Curvac said the facility – funds for which will be provided by long-term investor Dietmarr Hopp and other backers – will produce a variety of RNA therapeutics from its pipeline.
The firm added “We will also be well prepared for the needs of our partners’ programs, including our newly established collaboration with Lilly.”
A Curevac spokeswoman confirm this, telling us "We have four different facilities for GMP production of mRNA. Our Lilly collaboration will have an impact on all four facilities. All facilities will be engaged for delivering of Lilly RNA."
"The new one is GMP IV bound for an industrial automated process for late stage clinical development and early market supply. For entire market supply we are currently planning for a large scale facility, GMP V."
She declined to say how much Curevac will spend on GMP IV, but did say "We will create about 60 new jobs only for new facility near-term."
Plans for GMP IV were announced in 2015 after Curevac secured Gates Foundation funding to develop mRNA vaccines for several unspecified viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases.
Curevac recently completed development of a third manufacturing suite at an existing facility – GMP III – also located at the site.
In addition to Lilly, Janssen, Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi Pasteur have all inked multi-million dollar deals with CureVac.