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COVID vaccines

Moderna looks to build COVID vaccine plant in Japan, CEO says

Pharmaceutical first needs government to agree to long-term purchases of shots

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel on Sept. 14 says his vaccine maker wants the same kind of deal with the Japanese government that it has with Canada, the U.K. and Australia. (Photo by Suzu Takahashi)

TOKYO -- Moderna, the U.S. pharmaceutical that brought mRNA technology to the fight against COVID-19, is considering building a factory in Japan to produce its vaccines, CEO Stephane Bancel told Nikkei on Wednesday. Construction would start if the Japanese government signs a long-term deal, perhaps 10 years, during which it would be obligated to buy vaccines.

Bancel said Moderna would like to build a plant in Japan, adding that it wants to centralize all processes, including manufacturing, in one facility. Location and other details remain undetermined, but the plant would be able to produce COVID, flu and other vaccines, Bancel said.

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