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CPI joins national taskforce to develop COVID-19 vaccine

Experts from CPI will join the national drive to identify and produce effective vaccines for COVID-19.

As part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, CPI will support efforts to manufacture and formulate novel mRNA vaccine candidates from its facilities in Darlington using its extensive skills and capabilities in the development of biologic pharmaceuticals, formulations and medicines manufacturing.

CPI will play a key role in the mRNA workstream, focusing on the development, scale-up, manufacture and supply of the mRNA vaccine candidate under development at Imperial College London. The workstream is a critical part of the Government’s Vaccine Taskforce response that is led by Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam. The taskforce will coordinate activities covering the development, trialling, testing and manufacture of a vaccine for COVID-19.

The mRNA workstream forms part of the efforts of the BioIndustries Association (BIA)-led Vaccine Manufacturing Group, which aims to ensure that when a vaccine becomes available, it can be rapidly scaled-up and manufactured in considerable quantities.

The group is a collaboration of the public sector, industry and academia that builds on the UK’s world-leading science base.

Frank Millar, CEO of CPI, said: “We are proud to be part of this ambitious and coordinated approach to rapidly accelerate the development, scale-up and manufacture of potential new vaccines. The collaboration brings together some of the brightest minds from the most innovative institutions and companies that the UK has to offer and represents a significant pillar of the UK’s efforts to fight back against COVID-19.”

Dave Tudor, managing director of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, added: “CPI’s National Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Darlington is a world-class facility with a highly qualified and experienced team ready to play their part in fast-tracking a vaccine solution.”

Dick Elsy, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, said: “Production of an effective vaccine is vital to beating COVID-19 and allowing all of us to get back to normal life. The insight, experience and capabilities that CPI brings to meeting the challenge should give the whole country confidence that the taskforce can make rapid progress.”