German chemical manufacturer Evonik Industries (OTCPK:EVKIY) (OTCPK:EVKIF), with US government funding, will spend a total of $220 million to build a new lipid production facility for mRNA-based therapies in the United States
The company said the new installation at its Tippecanoe site in Lafayette, Indiana will position it for future growth of new mRNA-based therapies beyond COVID-19 vaccines.
Of the total investment of $220 million, the U.S. government will fund up to $150 million through its Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which reports to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. . Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Greater Lafayette Commerce and Duke Energy will also support the project.
Construction will begin in early 2023 and commissioning of the plant is scheduled for 2025.
The investment in the site is expected to create more than 80 highly skilled jobs in the Lafayette area, according to the company’s June 2 press release.
Evonik noted that it provides major pharmaceutical companies with the lipids needed for use with active mRNA ingredients.
Evonik added that it has also provided lipids to the Pfizer (PFE) BioNTech (BNTX) COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination campaigns around the world.
The mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) is enclosed in a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) composed of specific lipids. LNP protects mRNA and delivers it safely into the cell, where it is released. LNPs are currently the most advanced drug delivery system, according to Evonik.