Wacker Biotech Expands Germany Site with Construction of New mRNA Competence Center

Wacker is investing more than €100 million (US$100.5 million) to expand its Halle, Germany, site with an mRNA competence center.

Wacker Biotech, a microbial contract development and manufacturing organization within the Wacker Group, announced on July 5, 2022, that it has begun the development of its biotech site in Halle, Germany, into a messenger RNA (mRNA) competence center. Moving forward, active drug substances based on mRNA, such as mRNA coronavirus vaccines, will be manufactured at this site.

Wacker is investing more than €100 million (US$100.5 million) into this expansion, which will triple production capacity and more than double the number of employees at the Halle site, according to a company press release.

The expansion will include four new production lines for mRNA vaccine production, among other products. Under pandemic preparedness contracts, part of the new capacity at Halle will be made available to the German federal government as and when required. The expansion will also include new storage areas and quality control laboratories. The company intends to hire around 200 new employees as part of the expansion. Production is expected to start in 2024.

“We are happy that our expertise in making mRNA vaccines will contribute to the fight against future pandemics. The expansion of our Halle site will create capacity to prepare for pandemics and beyond,” said Christian Hartel, CEO, Wacker, in the press release.

“With this expansion into a competence center for mRNA actives, W[acker] is bringing a technology of the future to Halle,” said Melanie Käsmarker, managing director of Wacker Biotech in Halle, in the release. “mRNA actives are not only used as vaccines, for example to protect against coronavirus, but the mRNA technology also allows completely new treatment options, such as in cancer therapy. We see a lot of potential here and going forward want to serve the increasing demand for mRNA actives from Halle.”

Source: Wacker Biotech