News
08/08/2022

Construction of innovative competence center for mRNA actives underway

The German companies Wacker and Exyte are joining forces to build a state-of-the-art competence center for mRNA actives in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt. Analysts say the facility will allow both partners to capitalize on expected, rapid growth in the market for medical biotechnology.

Forscherin arbeiten im Labor
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The expansion project at the Weinberg Campus Technology Park in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, will more than triple Wacker’s production capacity at the site. The new, four-story building will be home to four mRNA production lines, storage areas, quality control laboratories, office space, and recreation rooms. Wacker says it is hiring around 200 new employees, with an emphasis on lab assistants and pharmaceutical technicians. Training will begin soon to ensure incoming staff are ready when production starts in 2024.

Stuttgart-based Exyte is the general contractor for the project with EPCQ (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Qualification) responsibilities. Exyte CEO Dr. Wolfgang Büchele explained its importance, “The speed of implementation sets new standards for the industry. With the help of our engineering capabilities and innovative solutions, our customers will be able to make vital pharmaceutical products available more quickly than before.” A key to completing the ambitious “Fast Track” project is ExyCell, a proven modular system developed by Exyte for use in building biopharmaceutical plants.

Some of the new facility’s capacity will be dedicated to a German government program aimed at honing readiness for future pandemics. Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health has set up the Center for Pandemic Vaccines and Therapeutics (ZEPAI) at the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Langen. In July, ZEPAI signed a readiness contract with Wacker and four other pharmaceutical companies with locations in Germany.

The project is a sign of the growing importance of medical biotechnology and personalized medicine in healthcare. Market researchers say, for example, that the global market for biopharmaceuticals is expected to increase to around EUR 900 billion by 2030, or a rise of 180 percent from 2021. Among the possible applications for mRNA technologies are cancer prevention and treatment, multi-antigen vaccines, and personalized vaccines for cancer.

Germany’s medical biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are leaders in this field, as a recent report from the Boston Consulting Group shows. The export initiative for the German Healthcare Industry, HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY is the place to learn more about this dynamic sector of Germany’s economy.