Booster Shot for Pharma

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, September 2023, Volume 47, Issue 9

European vaccine manufacturing is being boosted with high level investments.

Vaccine manufacturing within Europe is being supported financially as money flows into various operations through multiple veins. A prime example of such an investment was announced in early September by GSK, which is supporting manufacturing operations with €250 million being put up for a new facility in Belgium (1).

The British bio/pharma company’s plans are to create a new facility at its Wavre site in Belgium that will produce both non-living and live vaccines and seems to coincide with the launch of Arexvy—GSK’s new respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine. According to a news report, the new facility will be operational in 2027, with GSK expecting to manufacture tens of millions of doses per year at the site (1).

Other large American companies, such as Moderna and Pfizer, are also investing in European facilities. Moderna, for example, announced in March 2023 that it had selected Harwell Science Campus in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, as the location for its new Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre (MITC) (2). The centre, which will incorporate R&D and a manufacturing facility, is expected to provide the UK public with access to messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines for an array of respiratory diseases and should create hundreds of jobs for construction and then operation.

“When constructed, our facility at Harwell will harness mRNA science that aims to develop and deliver innovative vaccines to the UK public that address emerging threats from respiratory viruses facing our population,” said Darius Hughes, Moderna’s UK general manager, in a press release (2).


In December 2022, Pfizer announced that it would invest billions (approximately €2.4 billion), to expand its manufacturing capacities in both Ireland and Belgium (3). The huge financial input, €1.2 billion for each location, will add hundreds of jobs and allow the company to produce new medicines, such as Pfizer’s vaccine for RSV.

Further adding to the influx of cash is funding from the Transformative Medicine Manufacturing programme, provided by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, being used for a multitude of projects, including vaccine manufacturing (4). These investments will undoubtedly prove to be a beneficial and protective shot in the arm for European vaccine manufacturing.


1. Pronina, L. GSK Invests €250 Million to Allow Freeze-Drying of Vaccines. Bloomberg, 30 Aug. 2023.
2. Moderna. Moderna Selects Harwell Science Campus in Oxfordshire to Develop Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre in the UK. Press Release, 5 March 2023.
3. Erman, M. Pfizer to Invest More than $2.5 Billion to Expand European Manufacturing. Reuters, 2 Dec. 2022.
4. UKRI. £13 Million to Help Transform Medicines Manufacturing. Press Release, 22 Aug. 2023.

About the author

Felicity Thomas is the European/senior editor for Pharmaceutical Technology Group.

Article details

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
Vol. 35, No. 9
September 2023
Page: 6


When referring to this article, please cite it as Thomas, F. Booster Shot for Pharma. Pharmaceutical Technology Europe 2023 35 (9) 6.